Resources for parents of at-risk and troubled teens.



October 2010

Teen Histrionic Personality Disorder

by Staff, on at risk youth, Histrionic Personality Disorder, HPD, HPD treatment, teen disorder, Teen Histrionic Personality Disorder, Teen HPD, teen personality disorder

HPD or Histrionic Personality Disorder falls under the group of Dramatic Personality Disorders. Like most personality disorders, people with HPD have distorted image of themselves, very unstable emotions and intense fears. HPD causes a teen to disregard his won feeling of self-worth and sole depends on others for praise and approval. HPD causes teens and adults to seek to be approved from others and to be noticed and recognized, and they tend to be dramatic and act inappropriate just so they can get some attention. Better understanding of Histrionic personality Disorder simply comes from the meaning of the word “Histrionic” which means “dramatic”. Mostly women suffer from HPD and the first signs of development appear in late teens, early adulthood.

Unlike other personality disorder HPD separates with the fact that people who have HPD have astonishing good social skills, but the use of these skills is mostly to manipulate and get the spotlight of attention. Some of the ways to notice a person with Histrionic Personality Disorder is:

-    The person dresses provocative or shows inappropriate behavior to get attention
-    Desires the center of attention and feels uneasy if he or she is unable to get it
-    Has sudden shifts of emotions
-    Lacks sincerity in conversation
-    Appears to act as if on stage
-    Concerned too much about his or hers physical appearance
-    Needs constant approval from others
-    Easily influenced by others
-    Sensitive to criticism
-    Unable to finish things because they get bored and skip from one project onto another
-    Don’t think before they act
-    Make rash and unplanned decisions
-    Narcissistic behavior
-    Lack of concern for others
-    Have hard time keeping a steady relationship as they appear to have shallow feelings

Causes of HPD are both inherited and developed. In most cases this is a learned behavior that grows into a disorder over the years. It may include lack of criticism or punishment when they were kids, or lack of positive parenting when due. Unpredictable attention give to a child without reason is also one of the most common causes, as the child cannot learn what is good and what is wrong and when he should get approval and when not.

Again, like with other personality disorders, teens with HPD don’t think they need therapy. They are also very heavy when it comes to therapy as they strongly believe they don’t need one and make the therapy very difficult as they also don’t like routine. The only case when they seek professional help is when another problem appears, like depression.

Counseling is the normal type of treatment for Histrionic Personal Disorder. The goal is to dig up the causes and reasons why the teen needs to act in that way, usually leading back to early childhood, also to learn how to relate in a positive way and form meaningful relationships. Medication is rarely used with HPD unless combined with other symptoms like anxiety and depression. Staff