Histrionic Personality Disorder

Orange County Mental Health Treatment

histrionic personality disorder treatment

As a type of mental illness, histrionic personality disorder (HPD) receives much less attention than it deserves. Those that suffer from HPD have a pathological obsession with drawing attention to themselves, to the point where they will go to any measures to achieve their goals. A histrionic personality disorder is challenging to diagnose since its symptoms often don’t appear until early adulthood.

We will be explaining the characteristics of histrionic personality disorder. This post is written for anybody who wants to better understand Cluster B personality disorders and the traits and defects indicative of a narcissist.

It is important to seek the help of a mental health professional to be properly diagnosed with HPD. Professionals can help people find the right treatment for their condition and stabilize their emotions and behaviors.

What is Histrionic Personality Disorder

Excessive desire for others to like and approve of them and a pattern of attention-seeking behavior are hallmarks of histrionic personality disorder. People with this disease may have trouble being themselves in social situations and may exhibit excessive melodrama, extreme emotions, and a need for constant affirmation. They may be swayed by the opinions of others and have a penchant for using deception to achieve their goals.

An overinflated feeling of self-importance and a propensity for initiating unwanted sexual approaches are additional symptoms of histrionic personality disorder. An accurate diagnosis and effective therapy for histrionic personality disorder need the assistance of a trained mental health practitioner.

Characteristics of Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)

People with HPD tend to be extremely emotional and often display exaggerated emotions in order to get attention from others. They may also have difficulty controlling their emotions or managing their anger. In addition, people with HPD tend to be overly flirtatious, dress provocatively, and engage in risky behaviors such as excessive drinking, drug use, or promiscuity.

People with HPD also have difficulty forming close relationships with others because they often act impulsively and irresponsibly due to their need for attention and approval. For example, they may make promises they cannot keep or take on more tasks than they can realistically manage in order to gain admiration from others. Additionally, people with HPD may be very sensitive to criticism or rejection and become easily upset when faced with either one. 

Below are some of the characteristics of an individual with HPD.

  • People with HPD often exhibit attention-seeking behavior, including a desire to be the focus of others’ attention. They aim to be the center of attention and may even behave in inappropriately sexual or theatrical ways. 
  • Emotional outbursts People with HPD are more likely to show their feelings than the general population. They might experience mood swings or become too sensitive to little matters.
  • People with a histrionic personality disorder may struggle to establish long-term relationships due to attention-seeking behaviors and a propensity to manipulate or lie to others.
  • Because of their shallow emotions and propensity to use sex to get attention, people with HPD may struggle to build and sustain close relationships with others.
  • Individuals with HPD can struggle to manage their impulses, leading to instances of impulsive or dangerous conduct.
  • Individuals with HPD can be insensitive to the sentiments of others, unable to put themselves in another person’s shoes.
  • People with HPD can have a shaky sense of self and trouble pinpointing their emotions and motivations. They may have difficulty forming their own opinions and depend heavily on the opinions of others around them.

Understanding an Antisocial Person, Seeking Treatment

Antisocial conduct is common among those with HPD because those with the illness typically behave impulsively or recklessly without thinking things through. And since they may not feel others’ pain, they might not be able to grasp how their actions impact others.

People with HPD should get help since the condition can seriously affect their personal and professional connections if left untreated. Individuals with HPD may benefit from learning mood and behavior regulation skills via histrionic personality disorder treatment, namely cognitive behavioral therapy. A doctor might prescribe medication to aid in controlling one’s emotions and impulses.

Family members and caregivers helping someone with HPD should be patient and empathetic since the condition is complex. Those suffering from HPD must also accept responsibility for their conduct and strengthen their connections with those around them.

man with Histrionic Personality Disorder screaming against a glass window

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Treatment for Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)

Combining psychotherapy with medication is the standard approach to histrionic personality disorder treatment. Among the many possible histrionic personality disorder treatments are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a treatment for HPD that focuses on helping patients recognize and alter unhelpful ways of thinking and behaving.
  • Therapeutic interventions for people with HPD include dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which aims to enhance emotional regulation and social skills.
  • Individuals with HPD can benefit significantly from forms of therapy that aim to uncover the emotional and behavioral roots of the patient’s difficulties.
  • When people with HPD participate in group therapy, they can share their experiences and get insight from others who have gone through something similar.
  • Antidepressants and antipsychotics are two types of medication that may be recommended to assist people with HPD in dealing with their symptoms.


Consultation with a qualified mental health practitioner is essential in developing an individual treatment strategy for HPD.

Diagnosis for Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)

A mental health expert will often do a comprehensive examination that involves looking at the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and behavioral patterns to diagnose Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). Psychiatric evaluations, blood, urine testing, and other diagnostic procedures can be part of this process.

One must seek a mental health expert to diagnose HPD; this condition cannot be identified by oneself or by an untrained eye. Because HPD is multifaceted, additional mental health issues or environmental factors may play a role in the diagnosis.

To assess whether or not a person satisfies the diagnostic criteria for HPD, a mental health practitioner will refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). 

Persons with HPD are characterized by persistent patterns of heightened emotions and attention-seeking behavior, as well as the presence of at least five of the following symptoms:

  • Has difficulty adjusting to circumstances where they are not the focal point.
  • Exhibits sexually suggestive or provocative conduct.
  • An individual uses a dramatic, exaggerated, or vague expression.
  • They are preoccupied with how they look.
  • The individual demonstrates an inconsistent and superficial range of emotional expression.
  • Tends to brag about their abilities or successes too much.
  • Is excessively sensitive about being criticized or turned down.
  • Uses their looks as a means of gaining attention.
  • Has a penchant for acting out their feelings in glorious ways.


A histrionic personality disorder is a mental health condition characterized by dramatic behavior and an overwhelming need for attention from others. People with this condition often display exaggerated emotions, act impulsively and irresponsibly, engage in risky behaviors such as substance abuse, and have difficulty forming close relationships with other people due to their need for approval from those around them. 

If you think you or someone you know may have HPD, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional who can diagnose the condition accurately and provide appropriate treatment options such as psychotherapy or medication management. By identifying the signs of HPD early on, it can be treated effectively so that individuals can lead healthier lives free from its debilitating effects.

How First Light Recovery Can Help with Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD)

histrionic personality disorder treatment

We at First Light Recovery know how difficult it can be to cope with HPD and are dedicated to assisting our customers in reducing their symptoms and enhancing their quality of life. To help our clients discover good coping strategies, improve their communication skills, and cultivate healthy relationships, our team of professional and caring therapists and counselors offers a variety of treatment options for personality disorders, including individual and group therapy.

Please contact us immediately for additional information about our treatment options and how we can assist you in making a complete and permanent recovery.