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Histrionic Personality Disorder (2)

In our previous article on Histrionic Personality Disorder we looked at how Sarah-Kate over dramatized everyday situations, was overly effusive to relative strangers and could not be relied upon by colleagues and friends. The link to this article is listed below.

Today we will look at further characteristics of this disorder. Apart from having a style of speech that is excessively dramatic and lacking in real detail, the HPD sufferer is uncomfortable in situations in which they are not the center of attention. Thus if the conversation in a group situation should turn to subjects about which the HPD sufferer has little knowledge, they will use all forms of dramatic attention-seeking behaviors to regain the center of attention.

Hence they may spill a drink, apparently accidentally, to regain the spotlight. Or they may interrupt a conversation by announcing that they have "almost" got a stunning new job. There may also be inappropriate sexualized conversation or behavior in order to attract attention to themselves.

Appearance is a powerful tool that is also often used to attract attention and these folk commonly wear unusual and unique clothing, earrings, or hairstyles in an attempt to win attention. Their emotions, while seemingly profound, are often quite shallow and they can move from morbid, dramatized sadness to raucous laughter and happy camaraderie within a matter of moments. Again, there is the impression that everything is an act and there is no depth of character.

Because they have difficulty in forming close relationships, they often zero in on newcomers to any social or working group, offering to show them around and effectively becoming their instant friend. Sufferers of HPD consider that all of their relationships are more intimate and close than they really are. Having little real sense of self, they are also easily influenced by other people's views and changing circumstances.

Next article, we will look at diagnostic criteria for this disorder.

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