Are you sick of a colleague who has an extreme attention-seeking behavior? All of us may have probably encountered this one person who always wants to catch everybody’s attention and seems restless whenever he/she fails to do so. As a natural reaction, we feel annoyed. We even try to avoid this person as much as possible. People with such behaviors are indeed hard to deal with, for their concerns are seemingly self-centered all the time.

HPD involves changes of physical appearance to draw attention.

HPD involves changes of physical appearance to draw attention.

But, did you know that too much attention-seeking may be a sign of personality disorder? Yes, and such a condition is called Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD).

Defining Histrionic Personality Disorder
This condition is characterized by excessive emotionality and too much attention-seeking. People with HPD aspire to be the center of attention in any scenario and don’t feel comfortable when they are not. Sometimes they are bubbly, but they are dramatic at times. They feel bad when people’s attention are not completely focused on them. They likewise, use physical appearance or may practice seductive or provocative behavior to get attention. Moreover, experts say that HPD sufferers have a tendency to play a role in their relationships. For instance, they may act like a victim or a princess; and they may be unaware of doing such a thing. They also tend to use emotional manipulations to control their partners. Additionally, people with HPD have a low tolerance level for delayed indulgence; for they always aim for instant satisfaction or self-gratification. They usually seek excitement. Consequently, they tend to disregard lasting relationships to look for more pleasurable relationships with others.

Symptoms of HPD
Below, are some signs that a person has a histrionic character:

  1. Always craves for attention
  2. Uncomfortable if he/she doesn’t get everybody’s attention
  3. Extremely concerned with physical appearance
  4. Tends to attempt suicide to get attention
  5. Repeatedly seeking approval
  6. Hypersensitive to criticisms
  7. Easily influenced by environmental factors
  8. Impulsive in making decisions
  9. Perceived as insincere in his/her actions
  10. Gets easily bored
  11. Rapid shifting of emotions

Causes of HPD
Experts believe that this condition may be inherited or acquired. For example, a genetic factor is considered in cases wherein HPD runs in a family. However, mental health professionals also suggest that sufferers may be merely imitating or repeating certain histrionic behaviors that they have seen in the environment where they grew up. Another factor to consider is how the sufferers were brought up or reared by their parents.

Relationship with Borderline Personality Disorder
Meanwhile, a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), which is a mental condition characterized by having impulsive or reckless actions and unstable behaviors, moods, and inter personal relationships, is sometimes associated to HPD in one way or the other. Looking at the HPD symptoms mentioned above, it may be noticed that some signs are shared by both illnesses. As a matter of fact, HPD often co-occurs with BPD. Additionally, both conditions are classified under the Cluster B or the dramatic, emotional, and erratic cluster. However, it is important to take note that BPD and HPD are two completely different types of illnesses.

Treatment for HPD
People with HPD are more likely to think that they don’t any need therapy. But, they might seek help if they are already experiencing problems as caused by irrational actions. Generally, psychotherapy is done to treat this disorder. It intends to reveal the real reasons behind the sufferers’ behavior and to help them mingle with others in a more positive way. Thus, a more intensive medication is given if depression and anxiety occurs.

In essence, those self-centered and excessively emotional people, are indeed annoying at times. They seem to be shallow and selfish. But with the information discussed above, we should realize that it is equally important to be considerate and sensitive towards these people. We may not know it, but our attention-seeking colleague may be suffering from Histrionic Personality Disorder. And just like any other physical illnesses, personality disorders need to be treated.

For this, it helps to have an adequate knowledge about these behaviors of various people around us. We don’t need to be experts. Simple understanding is enough, for it will definitely lead to a more harmonious relationship among other individuals in the long run.

Category: Health

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