Histrionic Personality Disorder

Published: 2021-08-29 23:30:07
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When one usually thinks of mental illness Clinical Depression, Bipolar Disorder or maybe even Schizophrenia comes to mind, but Histrionic Personality Disorder is not commonly used today in respect to mental illness. This may be due to the probability that the illness itself mimics others disorders and to use this diagnosis alone just may be doing an injustice to the patient as well as well-meaning clinicians who are trying to narrow down disorders in order to better treat it. Describing Histrionic Personality Disorder According to Psychology Today (2012) personality disorders, though, are rigid, inflexible and maladaptive, causing impairment in functioning or internal distress.
A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time and leads to distress or impairment. Most people may suggest that your personality derives from your parents, your genetic link to your ancestors, and yes that is true.
This type of personality disorder can have extreme levels and anything that excessive can have an adverse affect on the individuals with Histrionic as well as others in its path. Individuals with Histrionic Personality Disorder exhibit excessive emotionalism–a tendency to regard things in an emotional manner–and are attention seekers. People with this disorder are uncomfortable or feel unappreciated when they are not the center of attention.
Behaviors may include constant seeking of approval or attention, self-dramatization, theatricality, and striking self-centeredness or sexual seductiveness in inappropriate situations, including social, occupational and professional relationships beyond what is appropriate for the social context. They may be lively and dramatic and initially charm new acquaintances by their enthusiasm, apparent openness, or flirtatiousness. They commandeer the role of “the life of the party”. Personal interests and conversation will be self-focused.
They use physical appearance to draw attention to themselves. Emotional expression may be shallow and rapidly shifting. Their style of speech is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail. They may do well with jobs that value and require imagination and creativity but will probably have difficulty with tasks that demand logical or analytical thinking. The disorder occurs more frequently in women though that may be because it is more often diagnosed in women than men (Psychology Today, 2012). Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prognosis
According to American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (2012) the cause of this disorder is unknown. Both genes and early childhood events are thought to contribute. It occurs more often in women than in men, although it may be diagnosed more often in women because attention-seeking and sexual forwardness are less socially acceptable for women. Histrionic personality disorder usually begins in early adulthood. People with this disorder are usually able to function at a high level and can be successful socially and at work.
Symptoms include acting or looking overly seductive, easily influenced by other people, overly concerned with their looks, overly dramatic and emotional, overly sensitive to criticism or disapproval, believing that relationships are more intimate than they actually are, blaming failure or disappointment on others, constantly seeking reassurance or approval, having a low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification, needing to be the center of attention (self-centeredness), quickly changing emotions, which may seem shallow to others.
The health care provider can diagnose histrionic personality disorder by looking at your behavior, History, Overall appearance, and Psychological evaluation. Like other personality disorders, histrionic personality disorder is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation and the history and severity of the symptoms. People with this condition often seek treatment when they experience depression or anxiety from failed romantic relationships or other conflicts with people. Medication may help the symptoms, but talk therapy (psychotherapy) is the best treatment for the condition itself. Histrionic ersonality disorder can improve with psychotherapy and sometimes medications. If left untreated, it can cause conflict in people’s personal life and prevent them from reaching their potential in their work life (American Accreditation HealthCare Commission, 2012). Histrionic and Bipolar Personality Disorder Similarities According to Salters-Pedneault (2012) histrionic personality disorder (or HPD) is a personality disorder that may co-occur with borderline personality disorder (BPD). There is a great deal of overlap between BPD and HPD features, so much so that some experts believe that HPD may not actually be distinguishable from BPD.
There is marked overlap between the symptoms of HPD and BPD. For example, both share the features of rapidly shifting and reactive emotions, both are associated with impulsive behavior, and both are characterized by very strong expression of emotion. While some clinicians argue that the qualities of these symptoms are different in HPD versus BPD (for example, that the rapidly shifting emotions in HPD are not experienced with the same depth and intensity as those in BPD), other experts have argued that HPD and BPD are not necessarily distinct disorders.
The DSM-IV criteria for HPD and BPD overlap to a great extent (this is called convergence), which makes some researchers wonder whether it is accurate or useful to keep these as two separate diagnostic categories. Preliminary drafts of the DSM-V do not include HPD. Sarkis (2011) states, “that the diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder is changing, and how! It’s a pretty radical change, too. There will be “Levels of Personality Functioning” and a “Proposed Trait System.  In October 2011, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (5th ed. ) (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), completed data collection in field trials for new diagnostic criteria. They are currently drafting the text for the DSM-5 (Sarkis, (2011). The essential features of a personality disorder are impairments in personality (self and interpersonal) functioning and the presence of pathological personality traits. To diagnose a personality disorder, the following criteria must be met: A.
Significant impairments in self (identity or self-direction) and interpersonal (empathy or intimacy) functioning. B. One or more pathological personality trait domains or trait facets. C. The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are relatively stable across time and consistent across situations. D. The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are not better understood as normative for the individual’s developmental stage or socio-cultural environment. E.
The impairments in personality functioning and the individual’s personality trait expression are not solely due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e. g. , a drug of abuse, medication) or a general medical condition (e. g. , severe head trauma) (American Psychological Association, 2012). Conclusion The histrionics’ intensity and unpredictability are exhausting. The person suffering from histrionic personality disorders’ nearest and dearest are often embarrassed by his unbridled display of emotions: hugging casual acquaintances, uncontrollable sobbing in public or having temper tantrums.
The histrionics’ behavior is so off-color that she is typically accused of being a fake. Concerned only with the latest conquest, the histrionic uses his physical appearance and attire as a kind of conscious bait. It is ironic that histrionics often mistake the depth, durability and intimacy of their relationships and are devastated by their inevitable premature termination. Histrionics are the quintessential drama queens. They are theatrical, their emotions exaggerated to the point of a caricature, their gestures sweeping, disproportional and inappropriate.
The histrionic is easily suggestible and responds instantly and fully to the slightest change in circumstances and to the most meaningless communication or behavior by others (The Online Health Journal, 2011). According to Borderline Personality Today (2012) individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder make frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment (Criterion 1). The perception of impending separation or rejection, or the loss of external structure, can lead to profound changes in self-image, affect, cognition, and behavior.
Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder have a pattern of unstable and intense relationships (Criterion 2). They may idealize potential caregivers or lovers at the first or second meeting, demand to spend a lot of time together, and share the most intimate details early in a relationship. There may be an identity disturbance characterized by markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self (Criterion 3). There are sudden and dramatic shifts in self-image, characterized by shifting goals, values, and vocational aspirations.
Individuals with this disorder display impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (Criterion 4). They may gamble, spend money irresponsibly, binge eat, abuse substances, engage in unsafe sex, or drive recklessly. Since Histrionic and Borderline personality Disorders share majority of the same characteristics and symptoms, with one minor slight difference of the Histrionic having appearance issues, then it is only natural that clinicians would want to reconsider and maybe revise the DSM 5 based on this information.
Many of the personality disorders have some similarities which just may change the way personality disorders are viewed; one way would be to condense into one type of personality disorder with levels such as mild, moderate, or severe. These new revision will give clinicians an easier and better way to diagnose and treat patients in 2013 and beyond in a more safe and efficient way.

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