What Is Histrionic Personality Disorder And Do I Have It?

You could joke that if you think you have Histrionic Personality Disorder then you probably do! People who suffer from the disorder are famed for their attention seeking. But there is more to it than just that.

These days it is common for someone to be diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, but the diagnosis of histrionic personality disorder is less common. Why is that? Until recently there has been a stigma around both conditions but slowly that seems to have lifted around BPD. However, HPD still seems to carry around preconceived notions


The basics of HPD are fairly straight forward. It is characterised by excessive and powerful emotions and attention seeking behaviours. It usually starts to show as a young adult and continue with someone their entire life. Personality disorders are markedly different from other mental health conditions and as such the treatment is notably different. There are different types of medications and group therapy seems far more effective.

The criteria for HPD

There are several criteria somebody needs to fulfil to show they are suffering from the disorder they are as follows:

Centre of attention

A person with the condition will always feel like they need to be the centre of attention. They may act in a way that seems strange to most people as they need to have the limelight.

Sexual/provocative behaviour

Because of their desire to be in the “spotlight” they will often act in a way that is overtly sexual. This may be apparent in the way they dress. Perhaps wearing clothes that most people would deem inappropriate or it may be that they are overly flirty.

Rapidly shifting and shallow emotions

One minute they may appear really sad the next minute they may be happy. These emotions may come across as very powerful because of the theatrical nature of people with HPD.

Use of physical appearance to get attention

This links heavily with sexual behaviour. Although it can be displayed in other ways. Constant changing of hair colour for example. Or get a lot of body piercings.

Impressionistic and shallow speech

They may say a lot of impassioned things but it won’t really mean anything. In an effort to be popular they will try and sound excited about trivial things.


People with HPD will often come across as very melodramatic. They will blow things that many might consider insignificant out of proportion.

Easy influenced

This is another potentially destructive behaviour. In their quest to be more popular and therefore feel more accepted the HPD sufferer is likely to agree to things that they shouldn’t really in order to please.

Think relationships are more intimate than they really are

They may consider somebody to be a close friend even if they have only met them once. It is because of this trait that they are liable to overshare information about themselves.

What can sufferers of Histrionic Personality Disorder do?

The first thing is to get the condition diagnosed. Ultimately there isn’t a lot of points trying to compensate for a condition that you don’t have. Seeking professional advice is by far the best advice that we can give. However if you do suffer and you are waiting on treatment, therapy etc the best way to counter your condition is through mindfulness.

Think about your thoughts

Examining your own thought process can be difficult and there are therapies that can help with it but just stopping for a second and analysing if your actions are purely for attention can sometimes be enough to stop you in your tracks. This is definitely a good tactic if you are an HPD sufferer.

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