According to the Health Research Funding Organization, an estimated 1% to 3% of the general population in the United States have histrionic personality disorder (HPD), with two-thirds of individuals who have it consisting of women. HPD is a disorder that causes the person to experience instability in emotions with distorted views of themselves and fluctuations in their self-esteem. People with this disorder are prone to seek reassurance from others, to focus more on their physical appearance and aesthetic appeal, to use exaggerated motions and expressions, to have a lack of sincerity when engaging in social interactions, and more. HPD is intense in nature, making it difficult for people with this disorder to form and maintain close relationships.
Our personality is ingrained within us from birth – how we behave and perceive ourselves and others can set a pattern for our lives. Personality disorders are considered inflexible and maladaptive, causing a person internal stress when their actions do not align with societal expectations and values. HPD exhibits excessive emotionality – and many with this disorder are regarded as “attention seekers”. Appearing as lively and dramatic, people with HPD may even embarrass friends and family in public with excessive public displays of emotion.
The causes of HPD are unknown, and little research has been conducted on this disorder. However, many scientists believe that biological, developmental, cognitive, and social factors all play a key role. For example, studies have shown that people with HPD have highly responsive noradrenergic systems, which are mechanisms that release the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (responds to stress). It is believed that the malfunction that occurs with norepinephrine and other neurotransmitters is responsible for high reactivity. Some psychologists theory that people with HPD have highly maladaptive defense mechanisms, causing them to engage in repression, denial, dissociation, and displacement. Social and cultural perspective could certainly have an influence on this area.
If you have HPD and are experiencing a variety of difficulties in your daily life, make the decision to seek treatment today. There are many tools that you can learn to better cope with unsettling situations, allowing you to better connect with others. Recovery is possible.
If you’re seeking a mental health and/or substance abuse recovery treatment center, call us today at 855-412-2426. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed treatment center with licensed, experienced professionals who care about your recovery. We have a variety of methods that we can try with you to see what works and will help you develop a customized treatment plan to best suit your needs. Make the decision to place your health and happiness as top priority and call us for a consultation.