Histrionic personality disorder is characterized by constant attention-seeking and emotional overreaction. People with this condition tend to over dramatize situations, which may impair relationships and lead to depression. Yet they are highly suggestible, easily susceptible to the influence of others.
Dealing with a person who suffers from this personality disorder can get to be very tough. Why? Think about it. Would you like to share your space with a person who is obnoxious, underhanded and does all that it takes to get the eyeballs on him? It can get quite exhausting to keep feeding onto their ego. And depending on your degree of patience, if disgust hasn’t already taken over, you’ll tire of it soon enough and want to avoid them. This option is not always feasible and that is why it becomes important to know how to deal with a person with histrionic personality disorder.
Like most personality disorders, this disorder cannot be ‘cured’ because the person will not admit that there is a need for treatment. That is why the word ‘deal’ is the most apt way of putting it. In simple terms, instead of focusing on the treatment, one should focus on developing certain ways in which to deal with the person.
People with histrionic personality disorder commandeer the role of “life of the party.” Their interests and conversation will be self-focused. They use their physical appearance to draw attention to themselves. They tend to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are. Their emotional expression may be shallow and rapidly shifting. Their style of speech is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail. They may do well with jobs that value and require imagination and creativity, but will probably have difficulty with tasks that demand logical or analytical thinking.
The word ‘disorder’ should give you an idea that the behavior that this personality type displays is of an extreme nature. The reasons for why this disorder comes about is closely related to instances of abandonment and abuse in early childhood. Once this behavior sets in, it becomes difficult to shed because it becomes a way of life for that person. Similarly, others in the family do not realize that they are encouraging this behavior by not calling it at the right time. Thus a histrionic personality will develop.
The recommended form of treatment for histrionic personality disorder is psychotherapy. That said, therapy for people with this diagnosis is often challenging because they may exaggerate their symptoms or ability to function. They may also be emotionally needy and challenge the behavioral boundaries set up by the therapist. Therapy should generally be supportive and solution-focused. If you think you may have histrionic personality disorder or if you are suffering from some of the symptoms of this condition, then you should reach out to a mental health professional as soon as possible to get properly diagnosed and treated.