Personality disorders are mental health conditions that can affect the way a person views themselves, the world, and interactions at play with others. Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) can be challenging because it is characterized by excessive attention-seeking, emotional overreaction, and suggestibility, according to Psychology Today. A person with this disorder may over-dramatize situations, placing relationships with others at peril and leading to the development of depression.
People with this disorder feel uncomfortable when they are not in the spotlight – they may be very lively and dramatic when meeting new people, but may also embarrass close friends and family when they engage in excessive public displays of affection or sobbing uncontrollably over minor concerns in public.
A study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that women with HPD had significantly lower sexual assertiveness, self-esteem, sexual desire and marital satisfaction. Those women also experienced greater levels of sexual preoccupation, sexual boredom, and orgasmic dysfunction, and were more likely to enter an extramarital affair than women in the control group whom did not have HPD.
When dating someone with HPD, it is important to recognize and become familiar with all the symptoms found in the disorder. For example, one common characteristic is believing that relationships are more intimate than they really are. The person may also easily pick up on the opinions of others, without having sufficient data or reasoning to back up their claims. A person with this disorder cares deeply about their appearance, and has rapidly shifting mood swings that may be “shallow” to others.
The best way to understand your partner is to educate yourself on their disorder and maybe even attend couple’s therapy with them. In doing this, both of you can learn more about one another and how to overcome some of the obstacles you each may face in the relationship. Treatment for HPD typically involves psychotherapy, a form of “talk therapy” that allows a person to uncover new parts of themselves and learn more about how they think, act, and feel.
A relationship with someone who has HPD is possible, but there may be specialized concerns to work through.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. Our licensed, experienced health care professionals will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. If you are ready to seek treatment, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation.