pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, beginning
by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as
indicated by five (or more) of the following:
is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the
center of attention
with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually
seductive or provocative behavior.
Displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions.
consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self.
Has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and
lacking in detail.
Shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression
Is suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances.
Considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually
DSM-IV Code: 301.50.
Somatic or Sexual
Anxious or Fearful or Dependent
Dramatic or Erratic or
have similar or even the same symptom. The clinician, therefore,
in his diagnostic attempt has to differentiate against the following
disorders which he needs to rule out to establish a precise
Change Due to a General Medical Condition
that may develop in association with chronic substance use
of this disorder is unknown, but childhood events and genetics
may both be involved. It occurs more frequently in women than
in men, although some feel it is simply more often diagnosed
in women because attention-seeking and sexual forwardness is
less socially acceptible for women.
this disorder are usually able to function at a high level and
can be successful socially and at work. They may seek treatment
for depression when romantic relationships end.
fail to see their own situation realistically, instead tending
to overdramatize and exaggerate. Responsibility for failure
or disappointment is usually blamed on others.
is often prompted by depression associated with dissolved romantic
relationships. Medication does little to affect this personality
disorder, but may be helpful with symptoms such as depression.
Psychotherapy may also be of benefit.
and Psychotherapy [ See
Therapy Section ]:
who suffer from this disorder are usually difficult to treat
for a multitude of reasons. As with most personality disorders,
people present for treatment only when stress or some other
situational factor within their lives has made their ability
to function and cope effectively impossible. They are, however
(unlike other people who suffer from personality disorders),
much quicker to seek treatment and exaggerate their symptoms
and difficulties in functioning. Because they also tend to be
more emotionally needy, they are often reluctant to terminate
Psychopharmacology Section ] :
most personality disorders, medications are not indicated except
for the treatment of specific, concurrent Axis I diagnoses.
Care should be given when prescribing medications to someone
who suffers from histrionic personality disorder, though, because
of the potential for using the medication to contribute to self-destructive
or otherwise harmful behaviors.