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Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment

The overriding need for attention is the main feature that makes histrionic personality disorder distinct from other conditions. This desire to be noticed can be so great that it takes over your whole life, affecting how you think, feel and act. This can often result in extremely rash and inappropriate behaviour. If you have this condition, your self-esteem is likely to be very low, which is both caused by and results in an over-reliance on approval from others.

Specialist treatment for histrionic personality disorder

We know that it can feel distressing to live with histrionic personality disorder. You may be suffering from low self-esteem, finding it difficult to move past your current situation or to reach out to anyone about what you’re going through. It can be confusing to rely on others for your self-worth, while simultaneously feeling like there’s nobody you can talk to.

Whether you’ve received a diagnosis or have been struggling with symptoms you can no longer manage alone, Priory can help you to regain control of your daily life. Our team of mental health professionals have treated many people experiencing similar challenges to your own, helping them to live a more rewarding day-to-day existence. You are perfectly capable of doing the same, reducing the impact of your condition in the short-term and learning the skills to maintain your recovery long-term.

Seeking professional help for histrionic personality disorder will be the first step onto your life-changing road to recovery. Our experts will carry out an assessment to determine where you’re currently at and your required level of treatment, before proceeding with the best course of action for your goals. We’ll help you to move towards a brighter road ahead.

Any mental health condition is best managed with professional help. Nobody should struggle on their own and you shouldn’t ever feel like you can’t achieve the future you want for yourself. We can help you to feel more capable of handling your responsibilities, enjoy more fulfilling relationships with loved ones and start to get more out of life.

Signs that you need treatment for Histrionic Personality Disorder

As with all mental health challenges, it is helpful to understand the typical signs of your condition. Being equipped with as much knowledge as possible about your disorder will help you to feel better prepared for managing its symptoms.

Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) has a few key symptoms to be aware of. It is classed as an ‘emotional’ or ‘dramatic’ condition, as is typical of Cluster B category personality disorders. These features display largely in the need to be the centre of attention. Not receiving that desired attention can therefore cause great discomfort in people with HPD. The condition may cause you to make rash decisions and behave in an unusual way.

The ‘dramatic’ element (the word histrionic actually means ‘dramatic or theatrical’) comes from the measures that you may take to gain that attention and seek the approval. You may constantly feel compelled to entertain others, as well as being easily influenced by other people and their opinions of you.

Signs and symptoms of histrionic personality disorder

Symptoms of histrionic personality disorder, which can indicate the need for treatment, include:

  • Feeling uncomfortable if you’re not the centre of attention
  • Mood swings and shallow emotions
  • Expressing yourself in theatrical, exaggerated or overly dramatic ways
  • Using your physical appearance to draw attention to yourself
  • Being easily influenced by other people
  • Sexually inappropriate, seductive or provocative behaviour
  • Believing that your friendships or close personal relationships are more intimate than they actually are

High-quality treatment, whatever your situation

However you feel at the moment, our experts have the knowledge and experience to turn your situation around. Although there’s no cure for personality disorders, they are fully treatable. Our programmes are designed to help you feel significantly better and start to live with greater acceptance and control of your circumstances.

Our team will help you to feel better about what you’re facing every day. They will normalise your reality and help you to realise that your behaviours are not your fault. It is very common to turn your experience inwards and feel guilt and shame about ways you may have acted in the past. However, our compassionate team operate with no judgement at all, showing you that your beliefs and actions are regularly associated with your condition.

Histrionic personality disorder can make it feel like you’re completely isolated, but there are people waiting to help you and others who are working through the exact symptoms as you. Talking to someone about what you might have been holding inside will help you to feel empowered to get better. We can do this together and once you start to open up, you’ll never look back. We’ll help you to take the next steps to treatment with Priory, which will change the course of your life for the better.

Types of histrionic personality disorder treatment programmes

Our programmes all adhere to the NICE clinical guidelines, which are evidence-based and set by independent bodies. We’ll recommend the best way to proceed with your treatment after your initial consultation. Your treatment can be delivered in an inpatient format, in one of our residential centres and hospitals, through day care or as outpatient treatment at one of our nationwide wellbeing centres. We can also offer outpatient therapy over video with our online therapy service, removing the need to travel or to impact on your other commitments.

Here are the details of our treatment for histrionic personality disorder at Priory:

Inpatient treatment

This takes place in a community-based environment with 24-hour care and structured daily sessions of therapy and other activity. By taking you away from your usual routine, with all of its challenges and triggers, our inpatient treatment allows you to change your habits for the better.

The support you receive, from both our clinical team and your peers, will improve your self-esteem and confidence so that you can move forward with a happier future. This is helped in part by regular group therapy sessions. Collaborative activities also help you get used to managing responsibilities, such as cooking and cleaning. This is important for helping with the symptoms of histrionic personality disorder, as it allows you to function more capably in group settings.

Our highly-qualified team will also lead activities which benefit your physical and mental wellbeing, such as yoga, meditation, sports, games and creative classes.

Outpatient treatment and day care

This allows you to fit treatment around your current commitments, with outpatient therapy delivered in weekly hour-long appointments at a time convenient for you. If you don’t live close to one of our wellbeing centres, or would rather avoid this option, online therapy offers the same high-quality outpatient treatment over video, connecting you with our experienced therapists from the comfort of your home.

Day care allows you to continue benefitting from structured therapeutic support if you’ve already had residential treatment, while reintegrating back to daily life. This makes it a valuable step-down option as you become comfortable with the responsibilities of your day-to-day recovery. It also allows you to continue connecting with peers going through the same journey as you, through group therapy sessions.

Therapy types for histrionic personality disorder

Our therapies for treating histrionic personality disorder will help you to understand the root causes of your condition, along with how it affects your beliefs and behaviours.

These are some of the therapies used in the treatment of histrionic personality disorder:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

This behavioural therapy focuses on current issues and situations, improving your mental health incrementally using a goal-setting approach. By focusing on what is happening in the present moment, you can gain greater control over your reactions and coping skills. It addresses negative thought patterns, in order to encourage healthier feelings and behaviours. CBT can help with HPD by managing impulsive behaviours, encouraging more contemplation of actions. It teaches the skills to feel calmer when making decisions, rather than being led by extreme emotions and a need to get attention.

Learning how to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones empowers you to take control of your emotions and behaviours, acting in a more productive way for your wellbeing from day-to-day. CBT allows you a regular sense of achievement for how you approach your struggles. This will allow you to bring around gradual, lasting change with lifelong skills.

  • Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT)

DBT focuses on the intense emotions associated with HPD, by validating them. By teaching you to accept extreme feelings that were once all-consuming, DBT frees your mind to look at problems differently. This helps to embrace more productive ways of thinking. You will then be able to combat potentially damaging behavioural patterns, such as self-harming. Understanding the causes of your emotions is a helpful place to start, but DBT will teach you the skills to ultimately replace these feelings with more positive ones.

Our clinical team may also be able to prescribe medication if required. If you have any co-occurring conditions such as depression or anxiety disorders (both common with HPD), treating these can make you better equipped to manage the effects of your personality disorder.

This page was clinically reviewed by Dr Liam Parsonage in January 2021.

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For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or click here to submit an enquiry form. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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