Histrionic personality disorder

They make an excessive effort to be the focus of attention. From their preference for conspicuous colours and designs in their clothing, their seductive behaviour, and their dramatic expressions it can clearly be seen that they wish to be the centre of attention.

They are very happy and cheerful when they succeed in this, but ill-tempered and unhappy when they do not. They come across as selfish. In order to get approval and attention they continuously manipulate everything around them. They are easily demoralised and even enter a state of depression.

Symptoms of histrionic personality disorder

These symptoms are seen in histrionic personality disorder:

• Exhibitionist behaviour.

• Constant seeking of reassurance or approval.

• Show excessive emotions and dramatise these. For example, hugging someone they just met, or crying uncontrollably during a sad film.

• Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval.

• Pride of own personality and unwillingness to change, viewing any change as a threat.

• Inappropriately seductive appearance or behaviour.

• Using somatic symptoms as a means of garnering attention.

• A need to be the centre of attention.

• Low tolerance for disappointment.

• Making rash decisions.

• Rapidly shifting emotional states that may appear superficial or exaggerated to others.

• Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are.