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Tips on How to Cope if You are Living with a Person who has Histrionic Personality Disorder

written by: LDP • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 8/24/2010

Living with a person who has histrionic personality disorder is not easy. You need to learn how to cope with the rollercoaster ride of theatrics and drama that are a part of an HPD person's life. Do you know how?

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    There are two groups of people living with a person who has histrionic personality disorder. Group 1 chooses to, such as spouse or romantic partners. Group 2 are usually the kids or the siblings. People who are living with a person who has histrionic personality disorder can expect to feel like they are riding on a never ending rollercoaster, as they are exposed to what some refer to as a “drama queen (or king) on steroids".

    Histrionic basically means dramatic or theatrical. People with HDP are often overly intense, continuously seek to be center of attention, and are generally self-centered, unsympathetic, and rarely sincere. That is only a SMALL idea of what living with a person who has histrionic personality disorder is like.

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    The Rollercoaster Ride of Living with Someone with Histrionic Personality Disorder

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    Tips for Living with a Person who has HPD for Spouses and Partners

    If you choose to be with a person with HDP and you have children together, you must understand the disorder and the negative impact it can have on the children. If you notice that the actions and attitudes of your HPD partner are abusive or hurtful to your child, you must seek help for your children and spouse-even if that means removing the children from the home. Requesting an order from the court for a mental hygiene test to be done on your spouse will force him/her to get treatment. Often, once treatment has begun, (which usually has to be forced on people with HDP) a new life is possible and living with someone with histrionic personality disorder can be mentally safer for you and your children.

    You must realize that unless they have the right treatment, nothing you say or do will ever be enough to give them the attention that they need.

    Tips for Living with a Person who has Histrionic Personality Disorder if You are their Child

    If you fall into this category and are too young to remove yourself from the situation or the situation is not to the extreme point to where you feel abused or victimized then the first thing you should do is understand that you did not cause this, you cannot cure it, and you cannot control it.

    You should try to, if you haven’t already, open a line of communication with your other parent or family member who doesn’t have HPD. Have them explain to you what your parent or sibling's disorder is about. A sibling will generally have treatment forced on them. If you notice that the behaviors and actions of your parent are in some way hurting you, tell the other parent or a counselor at school before it becomes out of hand. Do not be embarrassed to open up that your parent has HDP. It is important for you to be safe.

    Whether you are physically living with someone who has histrionic personality disorder or you are a part of their life, you must understand that enabling their behaviors, cleaning up after their messes, allowing them to take center stage, or taking their abuse is not going to help them in anyway; or you for that matter.

    There is nothing you can say or do for an untreated HPD person that will be enough for them. Ever heard that saying, “if you give them an inch they will take a mile?" This quote can be applied in this situation. You are only enabling. Living with a person whose histrionic personality disorder is severe is toxic to everyone, even the HDP person.

    You must seek treatment for them in order to help everyone out of this situation.

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    Sources:

    Histrionic Personality Disorder: Overview, Signs/Symptoms/Prognosis/Treatment

    http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/personality_disorders/hic_histrionic_personality_disorder.aspx

    Histrionic Personality Disorder Diagnostic Criteria

    http://www.psychologynet.org/dsm/hpd.html

    By Judy Koenigsberg Ph.D.

    http://www.healthline.com/galecontent/histrionic-personality-disorder

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