Histrionic personality disorder

Histrionic personality disorder is a mental condition that is characterized by excessive emotional reactions, attention-seeking behavior, and personal drama. These features usually begin in early childhood.

A person with histrionic personality disorder likes to be the center of attention and is easily influenced by others. Suicidal threats or gestures, while common, are often used to seek attention rather than to succeed at suicide. Inappropriate sexual, seductive behavior is also common; so are shifting, shallow emotions and the perception that relationships are more intimate than they are in reality. Interpersonal relationships are unstable and unfulfilling. Marital affairs are common as the person with this disorder seeks excitement from new relationships rather than nurturing existing relationships.

People with this disorder are usually able to function at a high level and are successful socially and at work.

Medications are not very helpful in treating this disorder, but professional counseling might help reduce the intensity of symptoms.

Histrionic personality disorder commonly occurs with other mental disorders such as depression or borderline personality disorder.

Last Updated: March 17, 2009

Author: Jeannette Curtis

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry

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