Overview of Histrionic Personality Disorder

Personality Disorder

Histrionic Personality Disorder, abbreviated as HPD, is the dramatic cluster of personality disorder, also known as ‘Cluster B’, in which the way an individual think, perceives and relates to others is affected. Dramatic, excitable, erratic, or explosive are the terms used to describe the ‘cluster B disorders’ that includes narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. Following character traits can be observed in person with HPD

  • The individual has a pattern of excessive attention – seeking behaviors that include inappropriate seduction and an excessive desire for approval. 
  • They look charming, lively and impulsive. They talk dramatically with strong opinions, get easily influenced and have rapidly changing emotions. 
  • Individuals with HPD have good social and professional skills which are used to manipulate other people in order to become the center of attention. 
  • They might feel comfortable only if they are the center of attention. They dress provocatively or exhibit flirtatious behavior and change emotions rapidly. 
  • They may act dramatically, be overly concerned about their physical appearance and may constantly seek reassurance about it.
  • They may get easily influenced by other people and are very much sensitive towards criticism. 
  • They may get easily bored by routine which may also result in not finishing a taken-up project and having much low tolerance for frustration. 
  • They may make decisions without thinking. They don’t show concern about others and just be self centered and also have difficulty in maintaining relationships and feelings

Causes of Histrionic Personality Disorder 

It is still unknown what exactly causes HPD. Most likely the multiple factors are involved in development and continuation. Histrionic personality disorder probably develops due to both learned and inherited factors.

Possible causes to develop HPD includes Neurochemical or Physiological, Genetic, Psychoanalytic, or Environmental Nature. 

  • Neurochemical or Physiological is a cause because in people with HPD, highly responsive noradrenergic systems are found, that is responsible for the synthesis, storage and release of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, high levels of which causes anxiety proneness, dependency and high sociability. From a genetic perspective, studies have found that there is a high correlation between heredity and HPD. 
  • From a Psychoanalytic perspective, traumatic experiences like death of a close relative during childhood or divorce of parents may result in inability to love as it might create the wrong impression of a committed relationship. Parenting styles may also be one of the factors responsible for developing a histrionic personality disorder. Over satiety or not keeping appropriate boundaries can lead to the development of histrionic personality disorder in youngsters. Furthermore, parents that exhibit dramatic, impulsive, explosive, or inappropriate sexual activity set their children up for this personality disorder.


The comorbidity in HPD includes antisocial, dependent, borderline, narcissistic personality disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, panic disorder, somatoform disorders, anorexia nervosa, substance use disorder and attachment disorders. 

Subtypes of Histrionic Personality Disorder 

Six subtypes of HPD are identified by Millon, none or one of which might be exhibited by the individuals with HPD. These are as below:

  1. Appeasing Histrionic: This includes dependent and compulsive features, where the individual seeks to soothe over troubles, compromise, concede and sacrifices self for commendation. 
  2. Vivacious Histrionic: This is the second subtype that includes seductiveness, hypomania and some features of Narcissistic Personality, where the individual shows Vigorous, charming, spirited, impulsive, energetic behavior and seeks momentary cheerfulness and playful adventure. 
  3. Tempestuous Histrionic: This is the third subtype, that includes negativism, where the individual shows impulsive behaviors and is out of control, moody, precipitous emotion, stormy, impassioned, easily wrought-up, periodically inflamed, turbulent and have complaints.  
  4. Disingenuous Histrionic: The fourth subtype that includes antisocial behavior, where the individual shows underhanded, double – dealing, scheming, plotting, crafty, false hearted behavior and is egocentric, insincere, deceitful and calculating. 
  5. Theatrical Histrionic: This includes a variant of ‘pure’ pattern where the individuals are affected and mannered, their postures are striking, eye-catching and graphic. They market self-appearance and are synthesized and simulates desirable or dramatic poses. 
  6. Infantile Histrionic: This is the sixth subtype which includes Borderline behavior, where the individual is labile, high-strung, has volatile emotions, childlike hysteria and is demanding, overwrought and excessively attached. 


The first line treatment for managing HPD is psychotherapy. Supportive Psychotherapy can be used to lower emotional distress, enhance self-esteem, and develop the patient’s coping skills, all through attentive and empathetic listening. Psychodynamic therapy can help individuals to uncover the motivations and fears associated with their thoughts and to learn how to relate with other people in a positive manner. 

If you suspect yourself or your loved one experiencing the symptoms of this personality disorder, consider getting an online consultation at TalktoAngel with the best clinical psychologist at the earliest.

Medications also might help when other disorders like depression are also present with HPD. HPD is a chronic disorder and treatment can help but this condition cannot be cured wholly.

TalktoAngel is an extraordinary spot to track down the best web-based emotional wellness experts. If you need assistance, use this search engine to look up “Psychologist near me” or “Online counseling.”

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