Dramatic personality disorder (HPD) is a mental disorder that affects about 2–3% of the general population. People with HPD have an overwhelming need for attention and often behave inappropriately. This causes a lot of bad effects on social relationships, work and daily life.
What is dramatic personality disorder (HPD)?
Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a mental disorder characterized by extreme emotional patterns and excessive attention-seeking behavior. HPD usually begins in early adulthood, this disorder manifests itself in a variety of situations.
HPD is one of 10 personality disorders recognized by the DSM-5. It is classified as one of the group B disorders with features of being dramatic, over-emotional, and erratic.
People with HPD often have a distorted mental image of themselves. They tend to base their self-esteem on the approval of others. This creates a need for attention, and people with HPD may resort to “dramatic antics” to meet this need.
Statistics show that about 9% of the population has at least one personality disorder. Where the prevalence of dramatic personality disorder in the general population is about 2-3%. This disorder is characterized by shallow emotions accompanied by attention-seeking and manipulative behavior.
Women are four times more likely to be diagnosed with HPD than men. However, research indicates that women may be more likely to be overdiagnosed with this disorder than men. This is because sexual orientation is less socially acceptable for women. In addition, men may be less likely to report their symptoms and therefore be less likely to be diagnosed.
Signs of dramatic personality disorder
The main manifestation of people with dramatic personality disorder is that they often act in very dramatic and emotional ways to draw attention to themselves. It can be difficult to recognize someone with this personality disorder because they are often active individuals and have a good track record at work/school.
Here are some signs that help identify a person affected by HPD:
- Or get annoyed, unless they’re the center of attention
- Dress provocatively or show off inappropriate flirtatious or seductive behavior
- Change emotions quickly
- Too concerned about looks
- Or very dramatic expression, as if performing in front of an audience, with exaggerated but seemingly insincere emotions and expressions
- Constantly seeking approval or reassurance
- Trusting and very easily influenced by others
- Being overly sensitive to objections or criticism
- Don’t think before you act
- Has a low tolerance for frustration and is easily bored out of habit. Often starts projects without completing them or may skip from one event to another
- Make decisions rashly, without thinking through
- Self-centered, rarely shows concern for others
- Difficulty maintaining relationships, often appearing shallow or fake in communication with others
- Threats or suicide attempts to get attention
Causes of dramatic personality disorder
Very little research has been done to look for evidence of what factors cause dramatic personality disorder. So far, the direct cause remains inconclusive. However, different theories and studies suggest that many factors may be involved. Examples include neurochemistry, genetics, psychoanalysis, or the environment. As follows:
Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between neurotransmitter function and group B personality disorders, including dramatic personality disorder (HPD).
People diagnosed with HPD have highly responsive noradrenergic systems, which may be responsible for neurotransmitter synthesis, storage, and release. Specifically norepinephrine. High levels of norepinephrine can lead to anxiety, sociability, and dependence.
2. Heredity and family factors
In fact, some families have a history of dramatic personality disorder. This suggests that HPD could theoretically be partly explained by genetics. In addition, children of parents with HPD may also exhibit behaviors that they learned from their parents.
Alternatively, it is also possible that a lack of discipline or aggressive reinforcement of dramatic behaviors in childhood is responsible for the development of HPD. A child can learn HPD behaviors as a way to get attention from their parents.
3. Environmental factors
Surrounding factors such as the place where you were born and raised, your relationship with your family and people around you, and events related to your life can also be factors that influence the process of shaping your life. into personality. If you have a genetic predisposition that is vulnerable and affected by life, your risk of HPD is higher.
In addition, a number of other factors can also increase the risk of dramatic personality disorder. Consists of:
- Family history of psychosis, personality disorder, or substance use
- Parenting styles, overindulgence, or particularly inconsistent boundaries
- Childhood trauma
- Ever been diagnosed with a conduct disorder?
- Not receiving attention from relatives and friends
- Family life is in turmoil
- Limited education, low social status, poor economy
Dramatic personality disorder and its effects
Dramatic personality disorder can affect a person’s social or emotional relationships. A person with this disorder is sometimes unable to cope with losses or setbacks,
In fact, people with HPD may change jobs frequently due to boredom and inability to deal with frustration. They may also crave new and exciting things, which can easily lead to risky situations. All of these factors can increase your chances of having depression or suicidal thoughts.
Diagnosing dramatic personality disorder
There is no specific test that can be used to diagnose HPD. If you’re having trouble with your symptoms, see your doctor. Your doctor may start by taking a complete medical history. They can perform a physical exam to rule out any physical problems that may be causing your symptoms.
If your doctor cannot find a physical cause for your symptoms, they may refer you to a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are specially trained and have the ability to recognize and treat psychological disorders.
Psychiatrists can use expert questions to get a clear picture of your behavioral history. Accurate assessment of behaviors will help the doctor make a specific diagnosis.
However, most people with dramatic personality disorder do not believe they need help. This makes diagnosis difficult. Many people with HPD are able to receive a diagnosis after they have been treated for depression or anxiety. Usually after a failed relationship or other personal conflicts.
According to the DSM-5 criteria, a diagnosis of dramatic personality disorder requires a pervasive pattern of consistent attention-seeking behaviors and dysregulation of emotions outlined by specific manifestations. Diagnosis requires meeting 5 (or more) of the following criteria:
- Uncomfortable when you are not the center of attention
- Emotions change and shallow
- Seductive or provocative behavior
- Use looks to attract attention
- Impressive and ambiguous words
- Exaggerated or dramatic emotions
- Consider relationships closer than reality
- Easily influenced by others
In addition, dramatic personality disorder requires a differential diagnosis from a number of other disorders. Such as:
- Borderline personality disorder
- Dependent personality disorder
- Anxiety disorders
- Somatic symptom disorder
How to treat dramatic personality disorder
People with dramatic personality disorder often don’t think that something is wrong. So the first step to becoming better is to admit that you need help. Psychotherapy is the first line of treatment for HPD. In addition, sometimes prescription medications can also be used to relieve accompanying symptoms.
Here are some commonly used methods for HPD:
Psychotherapy (talk therapy) is the method of choice for treating dramatic personality disorder. The goal of treatment is to help the person discover and become more aware of your motivations and fears related to your problematic thoughts and behaviors. It also helps you learn how to relate to others in a more positive way.
Psychotherapies that may respond well to HPD include:
Supportive therapy is often preferred for people with dramatic personality disorder because this approach has a markedly encouraging and reassuring effect. In particular, it does not pose any danger to the patient.
This psychotherapy can effectively help you reduce emotional distress and boost your self-esteem. It also helps equip coping skills through listening, attention, and empathy.
Psychodynamic therapy has also been found to be a successful treatment for HPD. The purpose of this method is to help you deal with latent and unconscious conflicts. This will help you to understand yourself and your behavior better.
You may be encouraged to replace overly dramatic speech with a more adaptive behavior. This will help you better communicate with others. You’ll also learn to recognize aggressive behaviors, seek out unhelpful attention, and discover new, healthier ways to develop self-esteem.
2. Drugs for dramatic personality disorder
Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to help with the mood swings, anger, anxiety, or depression that accompanies dramatic personality disorder. Medications that may be used to treat HPD include:
- Antidepressants: This class of drugs can help improve symptoms such as depression, anxiety, impulsivity, insomnia, emotional instability, or self-harming behavior. Among them, Prozac (fluoxetine), Elavil (amitriptyline), Elavil (amitriptyline), Luvox (fluvoxamine) and Norpramin (desipramine) are commonly prescribed.
- Mood Stabilizers: This class of drugs works to improve impulse control and emotional instability (excessive mood swings or sudden emotional changes. Among them, the most commonly used types include mood stabilizers and mood stabilizers. These include Topamax (topiramate), Depacon (valproate), Lamictal (lamotrigine) and Tegretol (carbamazepine).
- Antipsychotics: These drugs can be used to regulate emotions (especially when emotional reactions are too intense). Some commonly prescribed ones are Haldol (haloperidol), Risperdal (risperidone), Abilify (aripiprazole), and Zyprexa (olanzapine).
3. Alternative treatments
Alternative treatments are complementary therapies. Although they are not a complete substitute for primary treatments, they are useful in the management of HPD. Recommended complementary therapies include:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements: Omega-3s are nutrients found in abundance in certain plants and fatty fish. For example, salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, etc. This nutrient is essential for the healthy functioning of the brain.
- Eucalyptus: This herb has been used for centuries to treat depression and other related health conditions. The plant’s flowers and buds can be dried and made into capsules or tea. This herb is very effective in reducing anxiety and trouble sleeping.
- Folic acid supplements: This is a synthetic form of folate (a B vitamin) that helps make genetic material. It also increases the effectiveness of antidepressants in some people.
5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan): Works to increase levels of neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation, including serotonin.
You should not start any new alternative treatment without first consulting your doctor. Because some supplements can have potential side effects, affecting other medications or supplements you are taking.
4. Lifestyle Adjustment
Lifestyle changes should be made to better support overall health. This includes the basics of self-care. Such as:
- Set up a suitable and healthy eating and sleeping schedule
- Set aside 30-45 minutes a day for exercise
- Stay away from alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Seek help from trusted family and friends to help you stay on track
Dramatic personality disorder is often associated with low self-esteem. So it’s also helpful to practice strategies that can help you build a healthy sense of self-worth. They may include:
- Challenge the negative beliefs you have about yourself
- Remind yourself of your positive qualities
- Ask the people around you to tell you what qualities they think you have
- Build positive relationships, spend less time with people who make you feel bad
- Practice being kind to yourself
- Learn to say no to others
- Take on new challenges and strive to achieve your goals
Dramatic personality disorder (HPD) is characterized by a low sense of self-worth, along with an unhealthy, dramatic way of interacting with others. It is important to actively seek the support of a psychologist or psychiatrist. In addition, it is advisable to adjust your lifestyle and build a stronger sense of self-worth.