Histrionic Personality Disorder

This is a new one to me. I thought I’d heard of the most common disorders. According to a study published by the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) of the National Institutes of Health, 31 million adult Americans, or almost 15 percent of the general public, have at least one clinically defined personality disorder. These include paranoid, antisocial, schizoid, avoidant, histrionic, and dependent personality disorders.

The U.S. study did not test for three additional personality disorders—borderline, narcissistic and schizotypal disorders. According to Dr. Bridget Grant, chief of the epidemiology and biochemistry laboratory in the intramural clinical and biological research division of NIAAA, if it had done so the proportion of the U.S. population afflicted by personality disorders would have been most likely much larger. More information on Histrionic Personality Disorder, from Psychology.net:

A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  • is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention

  • interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior

  • displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions

  • consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self

  • has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail

  • shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion

  • is suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances

  • considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are

This describes most drama majors I met while in school. Is it a disorder or a lifestyle?


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