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Histrionic Personality Disorder: Diagnostic Criteria
By: Beth McHugh 2013
Individuals with Histrionic Personality Disorder exhibit an overly-dramatic behavioral pattern and almost seem to be acting to a full house on opening night. Everything is over-exaggerated, hence they may hug a person enthusiastically within moments of greeting them, or cry uncontrollably while describing an incident in a movie, or use sexually seductive behavior to draw attention to themselves.
There is a pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking behavior beginning in early adulthood. Five or more of the following eight criteria must be met for a clinical diagnosis:
In addition, individuals with HPD tend to be impulsive and find it difficult to delay gratification. In short, they have poor impulse control. Although males do exhibit histrionic personality disorder, this condition is also found more commonly in females.
However, recent research suggests that this phenomenon may be due to
social training. In fact, one hypothesis suggests that the typical characteristics
of this disorder (overdramatic, vain, seductiveness) are more commonly
attributed to females generally and hence there may be a tendency to
over-diagnose women versus men with this disorder. Antisocial personality
disorder, another of the personality disorders, is more commonly attributed
to males and many researchers believe that the two disorders are linked,
and are gender based in their expression.
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