Running Head: HISTRIONIC PERSONALITY DISORDER
Histrionic Personality Disorder
This paper describes the characteristics, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of an individual with Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). These individuals display a pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. The exact cause of this disorder is not known, but it has been linked to learned and inherited behavior. Diagnosing HPD can be difficult because it is similar to other personality disorders. Part of the focus of treatment is to help the individual uncover the motivations and fears associated with their thoughts and behavior.
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Normally, HPDs are more often female but in this case it is a male. A gay man in his early thirties came to the hospital for a depression that followed two major stresses: He broke up with his lover, and his father withdrew his financial support. The relationship with the lover was very close; however, the lover became concerned about the patient’s dependency. He wanted the patient to “take care of himself”, and said that “he needed a break” from the relationship. Shortly before hospitalization, the patient’s wealthy father discontinued his rather substantial monthly allowance. Although he had a job, the loss of the allowance meant that he had to change his lifestyle. The patient felt that his father was trying to “control how he acts” and felt that he “reneged on deals”. The patient felt that his mother “was there” for him most of the time he was growing up. He had been a sickly child, tearful infant, and a shy, isolated child. Although the patient felt close to his mother, he complained that she gave priority to the father. He reported that people at his work as a