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Understanding Histrionic Personality Disorder

Author: FITivate_B | Published date: January 5, 2023 | Category: Mental Wellness, Mind
Histrionic Personality Disorder
Histrionic Personality Disorder

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HPD Can Look Like...

Poor or distorted self-image

People who suffer from HPD are constantly seeking for approval or reassurance from others. They have an excessive sensitivity to criticism or concern, and are highly suggestible or influenced by others.

Overwhelming need to be noticed

HPD patients tend to display dramatic actions and responses as if putting on a performance. They feign or over-exaggerated stories of self in the victim role. Besides that, they exhibit rash, impulsive actions and rapid emotional shifts.

Excessive self-involvement

They have a higher tendency to dismiss others and draw attention back to self. Because of that, they will dress with the intention to draw attention and displaying behaviour that may be interpreted as flirtatious. They even have a strong belief that relationships are more intimate than reality. All of which causes difficulty in maintaining relationships

The Vicious Cycle

  • Strong desire for validation and assurance
  • Persistent attempts to elicit validation from others
  • Pushes people away
  • Feelings of insecurity

Risk factors

Genetics

There is increased risks when parents or family members have HPD.

Childhood experiences

The presence of childhood trauma such as emotional neglect and deprivation such that there is a need to seek external validation (eg. through physical appearance or mannerisms) as a way to compensate.

Caregivers' influence

The lack of boundaries, inconsistent attention from caregivers, or over reaction or inappropriate sexual behaviours observed in caregivers can result in modelling behaviour.

Treatment

Aimed at exploring the functions of behaviours, learning to express and have their emotional needs met, and thereby learn to build relationships in a healthy manner.

Therapeutic approaches can include but are not limited to: Psychodynamic therapy, Schema therapy, Supportive therapy.

Seek to understand

If you ever find yourself wondering why people behave in a way that you do not understand, instead of assuming the worst of them, perhaps we can try to be more sensitive to the emotional needs of each other.

By : Dr Shawn Ee

BSc. BPsych. DPsych.(Clinical), Clinical Psychologist & Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist

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