Some people do not like attention drawn to themselves. Others enjoy the thought of experiencing fame. On the other hand, some individuals, such as those with histrionic personality disorder, strongly depend on the approval and good opinion of others. This can get to the point where the individual may feel their inner self-worth is not very important. Being good enough for others may become the only thing that matters.
For a person with this condition, being noticed may be their biggest desire. Individuals may go to extreme lengths to gain attention. They may be so laser-focused on this that they may not even notice it is a problem.
Considering the distortion of self-image that comes with histrionic personality disorder, the condition can be difficult to manage without professional help. Self-help strategies can assist one in managing the challenges that come with this mental health condition, but these strategies are often not enough. Fortunately, reaching out to a mental health specialist can greatly improve a person’s quality of life.
What Is Histrionic Personality Disorder?
According to Medline Plus, individuals with histrionic personality disorder (HPD) may behave in a highly dramatic yet inappropriate way to gain attention from others. The onset of the condition may present itself in the adolescent years to early adulthood. HPD is more common in females than males. Professionals believe that more males have the condition but may not tend to seek help. Although the cause is unknown, genetics do play a role in the development of the disorder. Living an unstable childhood upbringing or experiencing trauma or abuse early on can also contribute to the development of the condition.
Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder
As stated in the publication Histrionic Personality Disorder by Jennifer H. French and Sangam Shrestha, one way to better cope with HPD is to become familiar with its signs and symptoms. Differentiating between what is normal and what is not can be very helpful. Learning the symptoms can make it easier to understand what to expect after being diagnosed.
Recognizing the signs can also make it easier to communicate the challenges to a mental health specialist and create a more effective treatment plan. According to the DSM-5 criteria, HPD requires a consistent pattern of behaviors and symptoms of emotional imbalance. The diagnosis requirement consists of five or more symptoms.
HPD symptoms may include:
- Provocative and seductive behavior
- Mood shifts
- Discomfort when not the center of attention
- A changing physical appearance to draw attention to oneself
- Dramatization or exaggeration
- A sense that relationships are stronger or more intimate than they really are
- Inappropriate behavior to gain approval or praise from others
The Importance of Self-Care
Practicing self-help strategies can play a big part in an individual’s success and increase their chances of a positive outcome. Focusing on oneself can help an individual redirect the attention they’ve placed on other people’s perspectives and create a stronger sense of self-worth.
Sleeping is an important part of one’s routine to improve cognitive function, physical health, and mental health. Creating an exercise routine either at home or at the gym can help reduce stress levels in individuals facing challenges associated with HPD. Taking part in physical activity can help with balancing a person’s mood and emotions.
Other self-care interventions that can help a person cope with HPD include eating nutritious foods and practicing mindfulness and meditation. Taking on a holistic approach can be a great way to improve the experience of someone with HPD in addition to professional treatment if needed.
Effective Treatment Options
Taking time to research the symptoms and treatments for HPD can help individuals better understand ways to address their symptoms. Reaching out to family and friends can provide additional support that may be needed once diagnosed or during the continuing journey toward healing. Attending support groups can help those with HPD understand that they are not truly alone. Making new connections can even open doors to new future opportunities that can further improve mental health.
Working With a Mental Health Specialist
Seeking professional help from mental health specialists may be the best option. According to the aforementioned publication, psychotherapy is an effective treatment option for individuals with HPD. Certain medications can also help individuals with HPD find increased mental stability.
The first step Is to obtain a proper diagnosis. Reaching out to a primary care provider can be a good way to receive a referral to a few different clinics that may specialize in treating HPD. When seeing a psychotherapist or psychiatrist who treats this condition, it’s best to ensure a good match between one’s needs and personality and their approach. This can allow the individual to feel comfortable and confident with the help they are receiving.
Logging symptoms in a journal and reporting changes to a mental health professional can help someone stay current with their treatment needs. That way, the mental health professional can change strategies and treatments when necessary. When a person with HPD is proactive about their condition, they can live a healthy lifestyle and find inner peace free from the need for approval from others.
Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) can greatly interfere with an individual’s life. Fixating on gaining approval from others rather than truly believing in oneself can be damaging. As a licensed and Joint Commission-accredited mental health treatment center, 12 South Recovery is a leader in Orange County in mental health treatment. Our facility offers various therapy options such as one-on-one psychotherapy and holistic therapy such as mindfulness and meditation to effectively treat HPD. The primary goal of holistic therapy is to naturally help individuals gain an understanding of their whole self while improving their self-awareness, self-esteem, and emotional regulation. This is essential to living a healthy lifestyle with HPD. If you need professional support, contact 12 South Recovery at (888) 830-8374.