8 Signs of Histrionic Disorder
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Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a mental health condition characterized by unstable and intense emotions, behaviors, thoughts, and relationships. A person with HPD may have a fragile sense of self. They may also engage in behaviors designed to draw attention to themselves. It’s a condition that affects approximately 1% of people. The cause of this disorder isn’t well understood. Experts believe it has to do with family history and negative childhood experiences. Having a family member with this disorder can make the likelihood greater for future generations. It can also develop from traumatic events during childhood, such as abuse or loss. Some experts even believe that parental behaviors are linked to HPD. Parents who didn’t establish boundaries with their children or exhibited volatile behaviors seem more likely to have kids who go on to develop this disorder.

Are you still searching for more information about this mental health disorder? You can learn about the signs of this disorder and treatments for it. Although it can’t be cured, a person can learn to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life with treatment.

What are the signs of histrionic disorder?


Several symptoms are consistent with someone diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder. These symptoms include:

  • Feeling unappreciated when they aren’t receiving attention — One of the top signs of HPD is feeling incomplete or unappreciated when lacking attention from others. Often, a person with this disorder may feel sad or upset if they’re not receiving attention. 
  • Feeling their best when they are receiving attention — Conversely, a person with this disorder will typically feel the most satisfaction when they are at the center of attention. Many of their behaviors are performed to achieve attention from others.
  • Feeling closer to others than they may actually be — Many people with this disorder report feeling closer with other individuals than is true. Relationships can often be one-sided or unreciprocated.
  • Being more expressive of their emotions than most — People with this disorder are often more expressive and more emotional than the average person. They can be extremely vocal about their emotions to those around them and make displays of the feelings they experience.
  • Expressing oneself with exaggerated gestures or style of speech — Another facet of HPD is expressing oneself in exaggerated or unique style of speech or gestures that draw attention. 
  • Being easily influenced by those around them — A person with this disorder will be easily influenced by the people they hold in high esteem. They may be quick to mirror their own opinions with those around them and may rush into making decisions.
  • Acting sexually suggestive around others — Someone with HPD may also act in a sexually suggestive way in social settings. They may not experience attraction to a person and still make sexual advances in a bid for attention.
  • Trying to draw attention through their physical appearance — They’re also likely to use their physical appearance, like clothing and hair, to draw more attention to themselves.

What treatments can be helpful for someone with histrionic disorder?

A couple of treatments can be effective for adults with HPD. These treatments include:

  • Psychotherapy — Psychotherapy is one of the primary treatment modes for someone with histrionic personality disorder. It involves structured sessions between a client and a licensed clinical therapist. Your therapist can use a personalized, process-based treatment plan and programming to address your specific condition during psychotherapy. 
  • Medication — Medication is another effective treatment option for those with histrionic personality disorder. Many clients see improvements in their symptoms when they take anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication.

Seeking treatment for your histrionic personality disorder? Lightfully can help

Our mission at Lightfully is to provide high-quality mental health care to various types of clients. We believe in using a focused approach to process-based therapy. The framework of our clinic consists of evidence-based, clearly defined, data-driven and whole-person-centered care. We have experience working with various mental health disorders, including histrionic personality disorder. That’s why we feel positive that we can improve your HPD symptoms over time.

Lightfully offers various levels of care to both adults and teens: Residential Treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also referred to as our Day Treatment Program. We also offer a Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP) for adults. We meet each client where they are and can help them determine the most likely cause of their HPD. From there, we create a treatment plan that is unique to that person’s needs. These treatment plans are made to support clients over the long term and improve the quality of their lives.

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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