Monday, December 5, 2016

What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Personality disorders have been in the news. Does that make them any more likely to show up on the social work licensing exam? Maybe, maybe not. In any case, it's still a good idea to get to know each of them. That's knowledge that may very well get you through a question or two on the exam. It will certainly help you in social work practice. Earlier, we reviewed NPD. Let's move on today to histrionic personality disorder. Here are the DSM basics. It is:

A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five or more of the following:

1. Discomfort in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention.
2. Inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior with others.
3. Rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions.
4. Consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self.
5. Excessively impressionistic and detail poor style of speech.
6. Shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion.
7. Easily influenced by others or circumstances.
8. Considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are.

People with histrionic personality disorder can initially seem appealing and exciting by way of flirtation and a bigger-than-life presentation. The persistence of symptoms and absence of other modes of relating to others may soon make it clear that what is occurring is a disorder. Histrionic personality disorder shares some characteristics with borderline personality disorder. A savvy test writer may create a vignette that gives you a close call choice between the two. But they are distinct disorders--knowing the details of each is your best foot forward.

For more reading about the disorder, try:

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