Hysterical Histrionic

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In Amber Heard VS Johnny Depp’s trial 2022, a witness testifies on Amber Heard’s psychological condition. Dr.Shannon Curry, a forensic psychologist, explains thoroughly that Amber had(or has) multiple personality disorder. This is when the diagnosis term of Histrionic Personality Disorder came to be known, aside from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)—her descriptions on BPD also mentions the mirroring effect which you can read it more here.

Histrionic Personality Disorder is a part of cluster B category for personality disorder included in the DSM-5(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder). According to Mayo Clinic, this cluster is gathered based on disorders that displayed pattern of a dramatic, over-reacting emotional thinking, and/or unpredictable, provocative behavior.

In Histrionic Personality Disorder symptoms are mainly attention-seeking, overly dramatic or seductive, easily taking a side on something and boast about it with even a few facts. Being dramatic and outstandingly expressive to gain attention is also a clue someone might be histrionic. 

The History of Histrionic

I met a friend that has just received a Histrionic Disorder diagnosis. It was kind of hard to believed. Could it be a wrong analysis? That he might be just someone with a vulgar and full expression person? A lively personality that maybe does enjoy a little bit of attention? He did displays dramatic attention-seeking behavior many times, so where do we draw the line?

The word Histrionic came from latin word, histronicus, means similar to acting or actors. But, where it really came from, or how the personality formed, is a place where genes and environment played the role. A person with parent possesed traits that leads to it have larger probability. Environment from childhood that carries out physical or emotional abuse, a neglect, and other instabilities have greater repercussions. 

What Can a Histrionic Personality Harm?

In the beginning, personality disorder were something that did not take into serious account of mental health. Personalities are shaped as a way for people to conduct and manage their environment. A coping mechanism that didn’t come with a manual on how to be adaptive in challenging or overwhelming situations. 

With individuals that has personality disorders, they have a problem in defining their emotions and handling their pain. In Histrionic, which mostly women, this often made them friendless. The tendency to be provocative or behaving inappropriate in sexual things, without other interest but looking for attention. Most of histrionics need the approval of others as a foundation of their self-esteem. A deep lack of self-worth backfires in their relationship that would usually remain shallow in feelings, and easily shifts as if it were a play or acting.

As a matter of fact, they are uncomfortable at settings where they are not in the spotlight. It may seem immature, but histrionic’s are easily influenced by others as an adult. This will eventually creates instability of mood. The disorder will ignited frustration over small things at work, and a tendency of making hasty or impulsive decision. In severe cases, they might even try to pull suicide threat(s) just to get the attention they desperately need.

Closer According to Histrionic

Histrionic personality have had very clear symptoms on having a different set of relationship standards. They view differently on what considered close relationship. Since their relationship with others are often shallow and exaggerated, the mutual feelings of intimacy or closeness often described as not what it seem. In other words, they are very gallantly think that anyone who signals the slightest attention is considered mutually close. 

Other thing about attention-seeking is probably why histrionic made a strong move on how they feel about things. To meet their attention goals, in a theatrical expression and not once or twice, they make baits for people to compliment or applaud them. An emphasized validation. When succeeded, it cause a reverberated effect that they would draw up a conclusion of people have the same, reciprocated feelings. 

Help for Histrionic Disorder

Personality disorder can erupt during teens, but diagnosis should be made in adults and by a professional only. It can affect the person’s quality of life, such as in school, workplace; relationships; or even family bond. If you think you have HPD, it is hard to Self-diagnose, bring a spouse, family or close friend to help asses the behavior once you decided to find a diagnosis.

According to MayoTreatments for histrionic usually will revolved around psychotherapy, or Cognitive Behavioral Theraphy (CBT). Any psychotherapy treatment would be best to be combine between group and private for several reasons. One of the main reason is HPD patients are easily bored. They have a bigger chance on dropping out in the middle therapy, or even in early stage. 

Author: Fraya

A writer and entrepreneur with profound interest in humankind research and insights. An avid coffee drinker and book hoarder. Hours and days spent in Jakarta.

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