Medical Definition of Histrionic personality disorder

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Histrionic personality disorder: a mental condition characterized by acting in a very emotional and dramatic way, drawing attention to oneself. This condition is believed to occur in 1.5% to 3% of the general population and is more common in women than in men. Histrionic personality disorder is one of a group of personality disorders. Personality disorders are defined as long-lasting, pervasive patterns of thinking, perceiving, reacting, and relating that cause the person significant distress and/or impair the person's ability to function.

People with histrionic personality disorder may exhibit symptoms such as a need for attention, rapidly changing emotions, a high degree of trust in others, superficial relationships, dramatic speech and expressing strong opinions, inappropriate or overly seductive sexual behavior, seeking novelty or excitement, and changing jobs or social groups frequently. The cause of histrionic personality disorder is unknown.

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Reviewed on 2/8/2018

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