Histrionic personality disorder is a fairly common disorder and in most cases it is not diagnosed because the person suffering from it does not believe or accept that they have any type of personality disorder. This disorder is characterized by superficial emotions, constant attention seeking, and manipulative behavior.

Personality disorder

When we refer to a personality disorder, we are talking about a mental disorder in which a person has a rigid pattern and an unhealthy way of thinking, functioning and behaving. A person with a personality disorder will have trouble perceiving and relating in some situations and people.

Personality disorders will cause significant problems and limitations in interpersonal relationships , in social encounters, in the workplace, family, and academia. It is possible that people with a disorder do not realize that they are suffering from a personality disorder and believe that their way of thinking and behaving is absolutely personal, they may even think that it is others who have some kind of problem! They may blame others for the challenges they face.

Personality disorders usually begin in adolescents or early adulthood. There are many types of personality disorders, some may be less obvious than others, but each and every one of them can cause certain difficulties in a person’s normal life.


The histrionic personality can be due to many factors because personality is the combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that makes you unique. It is the way you see, understand and relate to the outside world, as well as how you see yourself. Personality is formed during childhood, formed through an interaction of two factors:

    • The genes. Parents can pass on certain personality traits through inherited genetics. These traits are known as temperament.
  • The environment. This involves the environment where you have grown up, the experiences you have had, and the relationships with your family members and others.

Personality disorders are believed to be caused by a combination of these genetic and environmental influences. Your genes can make you vulnerable to developing a personality disorder, and a life situation can trigger actual development. Although the precise cause of personality disorders is not known, certain factors appear to increase the risk of developing or triggering personality disorders, such as:

    • Family history of personality disorders or other mental illnesses.
    • Low educational level and lower social and economic status.
    • Neglect or an unstable or chaotic family life during childhood.
    • Being diagnosed with childhood conduct disorder.
  • Variations in brain chemistry and structure .


People with histrionic personality disorder will show a series of behaviors that can reveal that they are really suffering from this personality disorder.The most characteristic symptoms are:

    • Showing excessive but superficial emotions and attention seeking behaviors. These people are always doing something to attract or gain the attention of others.
    • Experimentation of fleeting moods, opinions and beliefs. They are also very suggestive and quick to respond to fads.
    • In general, it takes others to witness your emotional displays to gain validation or attention.
  • They often show exaggerated symptoms of weakness or illness and may use suicide threats to manipulate others. Additionally, many people with histrionic personality disorder use sexually provocative behaviors to control others or gain attention.

Is there treatment?

People with this personality disorder will not admit that something is happening to them unless their personality causes problems in their daily life and they require help to stabilize emotionally.

People with histrionic personality disorder are often difficult to treat. They only seek treatment when the disorder is causing major problems or a lot of stress. The psychotherapy individually can be effective but group therapy is not at all recommended because only seek attention of the members of the group overstating his life or symptoms. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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