We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Michael Pollick
Updated Jan 29, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) is a mental condition characterized by a number of traits, including extreme extroversion, obsession with personal appearance, and an often inappropriate use of seduction to manipulate others. A person with HPD is quite often the life of a party, with an engaging personality and a natural lack of social inhibition. Ironically, the positive traits displayed by a sufferer match much of what society usually considers to be ideal behavior. Those with HPD often rise high in social and business circles because of their outgoing personalities and lofty ambitions.

However, HPD is considered to be a personality disorder for a reason. While sufferers may display all of the qualities admired by others, many of them are also plagued by internal thoughts of inferiority. While someone with this condition may express empathy or affection, the actual level of emotional connection quite often ends at the surface. Someone with HPD can mimic, or even exaggerate, an appropriate emotional response, but his or her selfish nature often prevents a true bond with others. A true sufferer could feel lost in a crowd if he or she is not constantly the center of attention.

The "histrionic" element of HPD is often displayed as dramatic outbursts which are rarely commensurate with the triggering incident. An adult with HPD can literally burst into a childish temper tantrum following an argument with a romantic partner. Sufferers tend to revert to the emotional manipulations of childhood whenever they feel powerless. Many people may have first-hand experiences with so-called "drama queens" who tend to fly off the handle whenever the slightest hint of conflict arises. Others with HPD may create an atmosphere in which others feel compelled to acquiesce to their needs rather than provoke an emotionally charged responses.

Both men and women are susceptible to the development of HPD, which many experts believe has both genetic and social origins. Women with this condition tend to pursue unrealistic relationships, often projecting idealized qualities onto less-than-ideal partners. Sexual promiscuity is also a hallmark symptom of HPD, as is recreational drug use. Women with HPD may also spend hours working on their physical appearance, from excessive workouts to the overuse of cosmetics. Negative emotions are often bottled up in favor of exaggerated smiles and a penchant for hedonistic behavior in public.

Treating HPD can be a difficult process, because many sufferers fail to see their behavior as problematic. They may only seek treatment voluntarily after a volatile romantic break-up or complete social ostracism by those who can no longer tolerate the person's self-absorbed behavior. Others may be ordered into professional counseling as a result of illegal or immoral acts. Psychologists can prescribe anti-depressants to address some of the behavioral issues, and long-term psychotherapy may help HPD sufferers understand how destructive their self-absorbed lifestyle choices can be to themselves and others.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
By anon244074 — On Jan 30, 2012

What does histrionic personality features mean?

By anon77171 — On Apr 13, 2010

what is histrionic personality disorder in mathematical terms?

By anon2963 — On Aug 02, 2007

how can you antagonize or provoke a histrionic personality?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.