The Histrionic Personality Disorder often abbreviated as HPD is a behaviour that an individual develops and is characterized by excessive and pervasive pattern of attention seeking and emotionality behaviour. The individual with this disorder are normally dramatic and trying all the time to seek attention from others, childish in their talk and actions, lively than expected, often giving false statements, going beyond the normal human enthusiasm, flirtatious i. e.
as much as they are not provocative as to having sex with an individual, they express strong feelings often depicting it in an impressionistic way and can easily be driven by others to indulge in sex (DSM-IV, 2000, p. 655). Often an individual with this disorder behave in such manners so that he or she gets sympathy or attention from others. Diagnosis of HPD is normally made based on the pattern of symptoms. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) a patient posses some qualities so that he or she can be diagnosed with HPD.
These characteristics include; • Showing an exaggerated expression of emotion and self dramatization. • Showing provocative behaviours inappropriately in social interactions. • Often showing shallow expressions of emotions and rapidly shifting. • Easily influenced by other people or circumstances and • Having a style of speech that lacks detailed information and is given with excess emotions. An individual with these conditions can be found out by making a basis on the results of unstructured and semi structured interviews and using an individuals past history.
A research on HPD indicates that the prevalence is higher in women than in men but most men have other somatic behaviours. There are several diagnostic methods that an individual can undergo and the most commonly used method is the dual diagnosis method. This method involves associating the disorder with other disorders that an individual posses e. g. drinking alcohol and with high rates of conversion disorder, somatization disorder, depressive disorder and other disorders that are are normally related to HPD.
Another diagnostic method is differential diagnosis. This is the process of distinguishing one mental disorder with another. Two individuals who possess different disorders are normally involved in diagnosis of this nature (Bornstein, 2001). The diagnosis of disorders like borderline personality disorder and HPD can be similar because the individual with such conditions can attempt suicide and become hyperactive but the diagnosis of HPD indicates that numerous chaotic relationships occur.
The dependent personality disorder can also possess the same characteristics as those of HPD in the sense that the individual has high dependency needs. The difference however between the two is that patients with the dependency disorder are not more active and seductive like those with HPD. Psychological tests also are a way of diagnosing HPD clinically. The Millon clinical Mutiaxial Inventory and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality disorder are some of the self report inventories that gave empirical support on the research on patients with HPD.
The psychological tests involve performing intelligence tests on individuals and it was concluded by these results that patients with HPD may not perform arithmetic or tasks that require a lot of concentration. A method that I would opt for treatment of HPD is the cognitive-behavioral therapy. This is a treatment that is meant to reduce the dysfunctional thoughts of individuals with this disorder.
This is meant to make the individual to take care of himself, it involves training the individual so as his mind relaxes, teaching them to identify thoughts are almost automatic and to develop good problem solving skills. In order to do this, cognitive behavioural therapists employ assertiveness training to make the HPD patients use their resources adequately. They also employ methods such as modeling and response cost (Dobbert, 2007). The psychological test diagnosis of this disorder in an individual with HPD can be treated using this method of cognitive-behavioural therapy because it involves the mind.
The cognitive school of thought indicates that the mind is what makes an individual behave in the manner he behaves therefore if the individual is to be treated, the mind should be involved also. Reference: American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSV-IV-TR) 4th edition, Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. Bornstein, R. F. (2001). Dependent and Histrionic Personality Disorders, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Dobbert, D. (2007). Understanding Personality Disorders and diagnosis, New York: Greenwood Press.