Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a mental illness marked by a pattern of high emotionality and attention-seeking behavior that begins in early adulthood and manifests itself in a variety of contexts.

It’s one of the Cluster B disorders, which are marked by dramatic, highly emotional, and/or chaotic behavior.

Because their way of thinking and behaving appears normal to them, patients may not recognize they have a histrionic personality disorder.

Signs and symptoms

1. Emotions shift quickly.

2. Be readily persuaded by others and gullible.

3. Act theatrically, as if acting in front of an audience, with exaggerated emotions and expressions, but without sincerity.

4. Have a limited tolerance for irritation and become bored easily by routine

5. Dress provocatively and/or act seductively or flirtatiously in an unacceptable manner

6. Frequently starting projects but never completing them or skipping from one event to the next.

7. Want others to see their emotional outbursts in order to feel validated or get attention.

8. Be overly receptive to criticism or rejection.

9. Exaggerated signs of weakness or disease are displayed, and threats of suicide may be used to influence others.

10. Excessive yet shallow emotions and attention-seeking actions (i.e., they are continuously “performing” to get attention) are displayed.

11. To grab attention or dominate others, might engage in sexually provocative acts.


People with a histrionic personality disorder do not believe they require treatment. They also have a propensity for exaggerating their emotions and despise routine, making it difficult to stick to a treatment plan. However, HPD can be managed with counseling and, in some cases, medication.

1. Medications

While there are no FDA-approved drugs to treat histrionic personality disorder, medication is sometimes used to address additional illnesses that are associated with this disorder, such as depression and anxiety.

2. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy can aid in the treatment of HPD by reducing emotional discomfort, improving self-esteem, and improving coping abilities. The most effective treatment is supportive psychotherapy.

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Also Read: What Is Histrionic Personality Disorder?