Almost everyone has that person in their life that seems overly dramatic. A friend who is known as a “drama queen”, a partner who seems to over-react at a small inconvenience, etc. While over-reacting is quite common, how does one know whether their friend suffers from histrionic personality disorder?
Histrionic personality disorder is characterized as constant attention-seeking, emotional overreaction, and suggestibility (easily influenced by others). A person who suffers from this condition tends to over-dramatize situations, and can develop depression as their relationships may suffer. Here are several symptoms to look out for:
- Self-centeredness, or the person is feeling uncomfortable when they are not the center of attention
- Constantly seeking reassurance or approval from others
- Dressing inappropriately seductive or exhibiting inappropriate seductive behaviors
- Quickly shifting emotional states that may appear to be shallow from others
- Being overly concerned about physical appearance and using it to draw attention to oneself
- Influenced very easily by the opinions of other people, but often does not have details as to why those opinions should be considered
- Exaggerated displays of emotion and dramatic reactions
- Believing that relationships are more intimate than they really are
- Acts as either a “victim” or a “princess”
- Speaks in a way that is very impressionistic
Individuals who suffer from histrionic personality disorder often crave excitement and novelty, and become easily bored when enacting a typical routine. They may act out to receive attention from others, and long-term relationships may become affected as the person is excited to take on new relationships.
The main indicator of whether a person suffers from this disorder is the severity to which they exhibit the characteristics listed above. While lots of people like to be the center of attention, there are some individuals that may take on more characteristics and at a deeper level.
Many individuals with this disorder do not seek out treatment until it significantly affects their lives. If someone is concerned that their friend may suffer from histrionic personality disorder, it is suggested that the individual speak with a physician to get further information. The person who potentially suffers from this may want to schedule a doctor’s appointment and a therapist session to explore this disorder further. From there, the therapist may recommend medications should that person feel comfortable.
If an individual is diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder, they should continue to be treated as a respected human being. Each person has their own struggles, and that person is now a step closer towards understanding themselves and beginning their journey to recovery.
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