People have many different personalities. There is no “right” or “wrong” personality type. Even so, some personalities can make life more challenging than others. People with personality disorders tend to have difficulty coping with everyday stresses and maintaining healthy relationships with others.
Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) are intense fear of rejection, an excessive need for attention, and persistent manipulative behavior to achieve this attention. It is a type of Cluster B personality disorder that manifests as abnormal levels of self-awareness and concern about being admired by others. If you think you might have Histrionic Personality Disorder, here are some things to consider:
What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?
Histrionic Personality Disorder is a disorder characterized by excessive emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. People with this disorder are often very sensitive to criticism and are easily hurt. They may become overly worried about being rejected. They may be somewhat dependent on others but may be reluctant to show this dependency. In the extreme, this disorder can lead to excessive and uncontrollable emotions, impulsive and damaging decisions, and highly manipulative and inappropriate behavior. HPD often first appears in adolescence and early adulthood. It is much more common in women than in men. HPD occurs more often in people who have been abused as children or have a family history of this or other mental disorders.
How Do I Know If I Have Histrionic Personality Disorder?
– Explore the possibility that you have an HPD.
If you have been diagnosed with an HPD in the past, you are likely to have it again. Some people have symptoms of HPD for only a short time in their life. Others have had these symptoms for many years. If you have been diagnosed with HPD, you may want to explore ways of reducing the symptoms. This can help you lead a happier, more satisfying life.
– Ask yourself, “What are my strengths and weaknesses?”
Are there situations where your HPD symptoms are more likely to occur? What makes you feel better when you are feeling very anxious and/or weepy?
– Observe yourself over a period of time.
Do you act and feel differently in certain situations? Do you feel more anxious or temperamental in certain situations?
The Dangers of HPD
Some people with HPD may have brief episodes of the disorder, especially during times of extreme stress. Symptoms may include a sudden drop in self-esteem, feelings of helplessness, and even thoughts of suicide. These symptoms are likely to go away when the stressful situation ends. Other people have had HPD for much or all of their lives. These people may have intense but unstable relationships that often end badly. They may go from one relationship to another, seeking admiration from others but finding little lasting satisfaction or security.
Many people with HPD have trouble staying employed. They may inappropriately disclose confidential information, such as company secrets or private information about other employees. People with HPD are often very creative and sometimes talented, but they may have difficulty focusing their energies on one project long enough to bring it to completion.
Tips for Coping With HPD
– Work with a therapist:
A therapist can help you to understand your symptoms, why they are occurring and how to manage them effectively. You may find that having a safe place to talk about your life and feelings is beneficial. Make sure you select a therapist that specializes in HPD and other personality disorders.
Journaling is a great way to explore your feelings and come to a better understanding of yourself. Journaling can be therapeutic, especially if you are working through some difficult emotions.
Physical exercise is a great way to release pent-up emotions, reduce anxiety, and boost self-esteem.
– Find a support group:
Support groups can be great ways to meet others who have similar experiences and feelings. You can learn from others and find support and encouragement. You can also help others by sharing your story.
– Get creative:
Taking up painting, drawing, or another creative activity can be a great way to express your feelings. You don’t have to share them with anyone unless you want to.
– Improve your self-esteem:
Some people with HPD tend to have low self-esteem. One way to work towards improving this is to do something that you are proud of every day.
– Pursue your passions:
HPD is often accompanied by high levels of creativity. Make sure you are channeling this creativity in a way that makes you happy.
While it can be challenging to live with a personality disorder, it is possible to have a fulfilling and happy life. Research shows that people who accept their diagnosis and actively manage their symptoms have better outcomes and quality of life. If you believe that you may have a personality disorder, it is essential to seek the help of mental health professional. There are many different types of therapy that can help you to better understand yourself and your symptoms, and better manage them. With the right treatment and care, you can experience a life that is closer to what you imagined it could be.