What Is Histrionic Personality Disorder?


April 29, 2022 – Amid all the eye this month to actor Johnny Depp’s $50 million lawsuit in opposition to ex-wife Amber Heard, a psychological time period has entered the general public’s lexicon: histrionic personality disorder.

Depp says that an op-ed Heard wrote in 2018 harm his profession, and he’s suing for defamation.

The time period was utilized in court docket through the testimony of Shannon Curry, PsyD, a medical and forensic psychologist in California and Hawaii, who carried out a psychological evaluation of Heard and mentioned that she met with Heard for 12 hours.

Curry testified that Heard has each borderline personality disorder and histrionic persona dysfunction. Heard has mentioned she has posttraumatic stress disorder.

As a result of her situation, Heard may be very involved with picture, vulnerable to cruelty and blaming others, and unable to confess duty for doing one thing mistaken, Curry testified, as reported in Newsweek.

So what precisely is histrionic persona dysfunction, and the way does it differ from the opposite, better-known persona problems, resembling paranoid, narcissistic, or obsessive-compulsive?

Histrionic persona dysfunction – histrionic means overly theatrical or melodramatic – tends to be extra widespread in girls, could be realized or inherited, and comes with “intense, unstable feelings and distorted self-images,” in accordance with the Cleveland Clinic.

And people with the dysfunction are inclined to behave dramatically, depend on different individuals’s approval to bolster their vanity, and have an “overwhelming want to be seen.”

Histrionic persona dysfunction is way much less generally identified than narcissistic or borderline persona dysfunction, says Jessica January Behr, PsyD, a licensed psychologist in New York Metropolis.

“The standards for the dysfunction might be far more generally seen than identified,” she says. “To diagnose somebody with histrionic persona dysfunction, an individual has to fulfill 5 out of 9 very particular standards.”

These 9 standards embody being uncomfortable until you’re the focus, your feelings shifting quickly, performing very dramatically – as if performing earlier than an viewers – with exaggerated feelings and expressions but showing to lack sincerity, and continually searching for reassurance or approval, in accordance with the Cleveland Clinic.

Finally, this dysfunction is a critical one, and the label shouldn’t be used until a mental health knowledgeable who has evaluated you and carried out sure diagnostic assessments confirms it.

For therapy, individuals with the dysfunction will usually search counseling to uncover the motivations and fears related to their ideas and conduct, and the counselor will assist the individual study to narrate to others in a extra optimistic method.

A well being care skilled may also prescribe medicine to deal with the depression and anxiousness that usually include this dysfunction, in accordance with the Cleveland Clinic.

“It’s good that persons are studying about this psychological time period, nevertheless it’s vital to keep away from making an armchair prognosis,” Behr says. “We additionally should watch out to not conflate ‘dramatic’ and ‘histrionic.’ To have histrionic persona dysfunction requires sure standards to be met, and this isn’t a time period for use flippantly.”


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