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Mental Health and Histrionic Personality Disorder

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How Is Histrionic Personality Disorder Diagnosed?

If signs of this personality disorder are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a complete medical and psychiatric history. If physical symptoms are present, a physical exam and laboratory tests (such as neuroimaging studies or blood tests) may also be recommended to assure that a physical illness is not causing any symptoms that may be present.

If the doctor finds no physical reason for the symptoms, he or she might refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist, health care professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a personality disorder.

How Is Histrionic Personality Disorder Treated?

In general, people with histrionic personality disorder do not believe they need therapy. They also tend to exaggerate their feelings and to dislike routine, which makes following a treatment plan difficult. However, they might seek help if depression -- possibly associated with a loss or a failed relationship -- or another problem caused by their actions causes them distress.

Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) is generally the treatment of choice for histrionic personality disorder. The goal of treatment is to help the individual uncover the motivations and fears associated with his or her thoughts and behavior, and to help the person learn to relate to others in a more positive way.

Medication might sometimes be used as supplemental treatment for distressing symptoms that might occur with this disorder, such as depression and anxiety.

What Complications Are Associated With Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Histrionic personality disorder can affect a person's social, professional, or romantic relationships and how they react to losses or failures. People with this disorder are also at higher risk than the general population to suffer from depression.

What Is the Outlook for People With Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Many people with this disorder are able to function well socially and at work. Those with severe cases, however, might experience significant problems in their daily lives

Can Histrionic Personality Disorder Be Prevented?

Although prevention of the histrionic personality disorder might not be possible, treatment can allow a person who is prone to this disorder to learn more productive ways of dealing with situations.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on May 23, 2014
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