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Essential Facts about Histrionic Personality Disorder

written by: LDP • edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi • updated: 9/28/2010

HPD goes beyond just the signs and symptoms of the disorder. To fully understand the histrionic personality disorder facts it is important to understand the history, causes, and subtypes of this personality disorder. HPD was misunderstood for centuries and today studies are unearthing more about it.

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    The histrionic personality disorder facts are almost equally as interesting as the disorder itself. Learning the possible causes of histrionic personality disorder, knowing the history of HPD and the various subtypes of the personality disorder make the understanding of the personality disorder rather intriguing for most.

    The Causes of Histrionic Personality Disorder

    The actual cause of histrionic personality disorder is not factually known. Many researchers have attempted to pinpoint the exact cause of this type of personality disorder, but can only theorize that the disorder is manifested either by childhood events, genes, or a mesh of the two.

    The History of Histrionic Personality Disorder

    Histrionic Personality Disorder facts are very detailed with the history behind the actual diagnosing of this disorder. In the ancient Greek times it was believed that a woman showing the signs and symptoms of what is now known to be HPD, were women that were overly emotional both mentally and sexually and the cause of this was due to a displacement of the uterus.

    In the Middle Ages it was believed that women showing the symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder were demon possessed, associated with witchcraft, or had moral weaknesses that caused the illness.

    Sometime during the 19th century it was believed, as were most mental illnesses suffered by women, that Histrionic Personality Disorder was a form of hysteria. Back in those times most any abnormal behavior exhibited by a woman was coined hysteria. The Greek translation of histrionic is hysteria, in Latin it is “actor”; which more suitably fits the signs and symptoms of what we know of today as HPD.

    Sigmund Freud believed the sexual prowess often associated with HPD was due to a woman’s penis envy and her hurt and discontentment of being castrated in the womb.

    In the mid-20th century the DSM would go through many changes in the diagnostics of Histrionic Personality Disorder. The DSM II dropped the hysteria disorder from the characteristics and the DSM III added criteria to the histrionic personality disorder facts so that this type of personality disorder would not be confused with Borderline Personality Disorder.

    The Six Subtypes of Histrionic Personality Disorder

    There are different subtypes of HPD and a patient presenting with HPD may have one or more of these subtypes.

    1. Infantile Histrionic which has borderline traits associated with it.

    2. Theatrical Histrionic which is characterized by a person being extremely dramatic, romantic and attention seeking.

    3. Appeasing Histrionic traits include being very dependent and having compulsive features.

    4. Vivacious Histrionic is marked by extreme sexual seductiveness, almost to the state of sexual mania.

    5. Tempestuous Histrionic refers to the subtype with features such as being passive aggressive.

    6. Disingenuous Histrionic type involves certain antisocial traits.

    Histrionic Personality Disorder facts go far beyond just the history, causes, and subtypes; however, it is rather interesting to know the theorized causes, the length of time over history it took to pinpoint the disorder as one with characteristics more closely associated with the actual illness, and the various subtypes associated with this particular personality disorder.

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    Sources:

    http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/3700/3795.asp?index=9743

    http://www.personalityresearch.org/pd.html

    http://www.health.am/psy/histrionic-personality-disorder/