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Overly Dramatic People and Histrionic Personality Disorder

Women and Histrionic Personality Disorder

Women tend to have histrionic personality more than men

Women tend to have histrionic personality more than men

Drama Queens

There are all types of personalities in this world. Have you ever met someone who is trying to be the center of attention and overly dramatic? Well, there is a name for people like this. They are known as being histrionic.

People with histrionic personality disorder need call attention to themselves, and actually feel uncomfortable when they are not. Histrionic personalities may actually be interesting people. They can be lively and engaging and their drama often draws us in towards their stories. Histrionic people can also be perceived as being shallow, provocative, and overly dramatic.

People like this may also have difficulty achieving intimate and deep emotional connections in romantic relationships. They often unconsciously act out the roles of being a victim, or desire to be “above it all”. They may be controlling in a relationship by manipulating their partner emotionally, or they may seduce their partner to get what they want. They often show intense emotions. Their self esteem is dependent on the approval of other people., and they generally have a low self worth.

The Behavior of Histrionic Personality Disorder

People with histrionic personality disorder usually have difficult relationships with same sex friends, because their sexually provocative nature can sometimes seem like a threat to those they are around. They also may alienate their friends as the histrionic person seeks to be the center of attention.

Histrionic people like new things, constant stimulation and excitement and may show boredom if things are too routine. They are impulsive and seek instant gratification. They crave immediate satisfaction, and lose interest in things somewhat quickly.

They may easily give up long term relationships for the lure of something new and exciting.

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Facts About Histrionic Personality Disorder

Some facts about Histrionic Personality Disorder:

  • Histrionic personality disorder can not usually be diagnosed before the age of 18.
  • More females than males have histrionic personality disorder
  • Two to three percent of the general population have histrionic personality disorder
  • As people age, histrionic personality disorder, like other personality disorders lessens so that by the time they are in their 40s and 50s the extreme symptoms have mostly dissipated
  • People with histrionic personality disorder are more prone to depression than the general population

Seeking Attention

Drama queens want to be the center of attention

Drama queens want to be the center of attention

Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorde

Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder:

  • need to be the center of attention
  • unstable emotions
  • sexually seductive and inappropriately provocative behavior
  • shallow emotional expression
  • distorted self image
  • draws attention to themselves in many ways, especially in their physical appearance
  • they lack details in the stories they tell
  • theatrical and exaggerated expressions
  • easily influenced by others
  • over exaggerated the intimacy of their relationships
  • will start to be evident by adolescence or early adulthood

What Causes Histrionic Personality Disorder?

It is not know what causes histrionic personality disorder. Some theorists believe that it may come from a mixture of inheritable and social factors that may have impacted a person in their childhood. It is possible that during their developmental years, it became a coping skill to deal with stress. Most likely, there is no single reason or factor as to why a person may develop histrionic personality disorder, and more than likely there are many contributing factors. Some research is showing that children of histrionic personality disorder, may have a greater risk of having this disorder too.

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Long term psychotherapy can effective in treating this disorder when the person who working with a mental health professional who has experience with this type of personality.

Histrionic Personality Disorder

People who are overly dramatic may have a histrionic personality disorder

People who are overly dramatic may have a histrionic personality disorder

People With Histrionic Personality Disorder

Most people with histrionic personality disorder do not believe that they need therapy. Because they tend to be overly dramatic and avoid the mundane and routine, they may have difficulty adhering to counseling. One of the most common reasons a person with histrionic personality disorder may seek treatment, may be because of depression or a failed relationship, or other distressing situations.

During treatment, the mental health professional may look to discover and explore the motivations and fears that the histrionic person may be feeling so that they can relate to other people in a more positive way.

People with histrionic personality disorder usually function well at work and in social situations.

Histrionic personality disorder, like most personality disorders are best diagnosed by a mental health professional like a psychologist or psychiatrist. General medical doctors and family physicians are not qualified to make and conclusions about personalities. This information is not meant for you to diagnose anyone else either. It is just interesting to gain a brief understanding about people’s behavior and learn more about the world around us.

Drama Queens

Histrionic Personality Disorder Symptoms


toknowinfo (author) on April 05, 2014:

Thanks for stopping by Olog and commenting. Within personalities there are ranges of mild to severe. Some people can have aspects of a personality type, but it doesn't mean they have to have all of the characteristics that personality type. There are all kinds of people and trying to understand personalities is a challenge to say the least. It is good to see you are so aware to keep toxic people away from you. Difficult people doesn't mean toxic, it just means they challenge you in different way.

ologsinquito from USA on March 30, 2014:

Excellent article. Right now, I don't mind quirky people, but I want to stay away from the malignant folks. It can sometimes be difficult to discern, in the beginning, if someone is just a little different or if he or she has a propensity for creating chaos. For instance, I know a very sweet and dear person who has a few of the above characteristics. But she has a wonderful character.

mylindaelliott from Louisiana on June 29, 2013:

It seems like a lot of politicians would have this disorder...

Eiddwen from Wales on June 29, 2013:

So very interesting and thank you for sharing.


Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on June 28, 2013:

Your descriptions bring to mind many people I've known over the years. Interesting that it's actually a disorder.

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