Histrionic Personality Disorder

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Histrionic Personality Disorder, one of the most reliably identified personality disorders because of the drama and theatrics present, is a disorder that affects nearly two to three percent of our entire population. Histrionic Personality Disorder was formerly known as Hysteria, Hysterical Neurosis, and Hysterical Personality Disorder. Histrionics are typically outgoing, emotionally expressive, self centered, and usually superficially engaged in relationships. They have been described as overemotional, attention seeking, seductive, and fickle; however, at the root of their character lies a need to make others the center of their lives and a basic feeling of helplessness (Emmelkamp and Kamphuis, 2007).

Histrionic Personality Disorder, indicated by the American Psychiatric Association as a disorder with the essential feature of pervasive and excessive emotionality and attention seeking behavior, is a concept that has evolved over many decades (Dobbert, 2007). There was no category for Histrionic Personality Disorder in the DSM-I; however, some traits of this disorder fell under a category called emotionally unstable personality. When the DMS-II was published, there was a topic included called Hysterical Personality with Histrionic Personality Disorder in parentheses. The DSM-III drew on the previous concept from the DSM-II, excluding seductiveness, but later found that the criteria overlapped with those for Borderline Personality Disorder, so several criteria were omitted: those pertaining to craving for activity and excitement, irrational, angry outbursts or tantrums, and proneness to manipulative suicide attempts. The DSM-III then replaced these with two new criteria that returned to the historical roots which were is inappropriately sexually seductive in appearance and behavior and also has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail (Livesley, 1995).

The DSM-IV then stated that there must be five or more of the...
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