Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a medical condition in which a person behaves in a dramatic and emotional manner to receive attention. The different types of histrionic personality disorder treatment include psychotherapy and medication. Psychotherapy is the primary and preferred method of treatment of which there are many forms, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and family therapy, as well as group therapy and psychodynamic therapy. Medication is useful because it can help with symptoms that might arise from the disorder, but is not seen as a stand-alone form of treatment for the condition itself.
To better understand why psychotherapy is the main form of histrionic personality disorder treatment, it is probably best to know more about the condition. The cause is unknown, but it is thought that the disorder might originate from early childhood events combined with genetics; usually, the disorder begins to manifest in early adulthood. In general, a person who suffers from the disorder attains his self-esteem and self-worth from the approval and reassurance of others; this is why he craves attention and acts dramatically and emotionally. Other symptoms of the disorder include being unable to tolerate frustration as well as being easily bored, which leads to constant and rapid changes in decisions and gives the person a shallow appearance. Despite these and other symptoms, those with histrionic personality disorder can be successful in social and work environments.
Psychotherapy, also known as counseling or talk therapy, is the usual method of histrionic personality disorder treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to help the affected person reduce his self-image of inferiority and inability to be independent; among other things, this type of therapy also deals with finding ways to solve problems using available resources. In family therapy, the affected person learns to be assertive when dealing with his problems, and family members learn to handle the person’s behavior without supporting it. Group therapy helps the affected person learn how to interact with other people appropriately, exploring interpersonal relationships within in a group setting. In psychodynamic therapy, the affected person talks one on one with his therapist and focuses on his own feelings and works to uncover any underlying reasons for his behavior.
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Although psychotherapy is the usual treatment method for histrionic personality disorder, some of those with the condition might also need medication. Medication is not meant to cure the disorder itself, but is for dealing with symptoms. For example, a person with the disorder might react badly to a failed relationship and thus exhibit anxiety or depression. If anxiety or depression sets in, the person’s doctor might then prescribe medication.