Site Map

Histrionic personality disorder

Personality disorder - histrionic; Attention seeking - histrionic personality disorder

Histrionic personality disorder is a mental condition in which people act in a very emotional and dramatic way that draws attention to themselves.

I Would Like to Learn About:

Causes

Causes of histrionic personality disorder are unknown. Genes and early childhood events may be responsible. It is diagnosed more often in women than in men. Doctors believe that more men may have the disorder than are diagnosed.

Histrionic personality disorder usually begins by late teens or early 20s.

Symptoms

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

Symptoms include:

Exams and Tests

Histrionic personality disorder is diagnosed based on a psychological evaluation. The health care provider will consider how long and how severe the person's symptoms are.

The provider can diagnose histrionic personality disorder by looking at the person's:

Treatment

People with this condition often seek treatment when they have depression or anxiety from failed romantic relationships or other conflicts with people. Medicine may help the symptoms. Talk therapy is the best treatment for the condition itself.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Histrionic personality disorder can improve with talk therapy and sometimes medicines. Left untreated, it can cause problems in people's personal lives and prevent them from doing their best at work.

Possible Complications

Histrionic personality disorder may affect a person's social or romantic relationships. The person may be unable to cope with losses or failures. The person may change jobs often because of boredom and not being able to deal with frustration. They may crave new things and excitement, which leads to risky situations. All of these factors may lead to a higher chance of depression or suicidal thoughts.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

See your provider or mental health professional if you or someone you know has symptoms of histrionic personality disorder.

Related Information

Depression

References

American Psychiatric Association website. Histrionic personality disorder. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. 2013;667-669.

Blais MA, Smallwood P, Groves JE, Rivas-Vazquez RA, Hopwood CJ. Personality and personality disorders. In: Stern TA, Fava M, Wilens TE, Rosenbaum JF, eds. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 39.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 11/7/2020  

Reviewed By: Fred K. Berger, MD, addiction and forensic psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2022 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.