Have you ever been called dramatic, emotionally unstable or do you know someone who has? If yes, it may be possible that the person has a histrionic personality disorder.

In this article, we will discuss histrionic personality disorder, its symptoms, and how it can be managed.

What is a Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is defined as an overwhelming desire to gain attention, and be noticed. The word histrionic itself stands for theatrical or dramatic and it is one of a group of conditions known as dramatic or cluster B personality disorders. 

The self-esteem of people with this disorder tends to depend on the approval they get from others and not from their own self-worth. People with histrionic personality disorder usually have a distorted perception of themselves.

According to multiple research, this condition is most evident during adolescence or early adulthood and it is more common in women than in men. This may be because women often report their symptoms more than men do.

Explore: How to Create Personality Quizzes using Forms (+ 20 Examples for Quiz Builders)

Best Histrionic Personality Disorder Quizzes to Try

We compiled a list of some quizzes to help you test for histrionic personality disorder. They are simple questions that require a Yes or No answer.

1. Formplus Histrionic personality disorder quiz: Make use of the Formplus histrionic personality disorder quiz to analyze whether or not you have the condition. Get started with this free template here.


2. IDR labs quiz: You can also conduct a test to determine whether you have histrionic personality disorder on IDRlabs. Go to their website and check out their list of expert assessments of personality types. They will help you determine what your personality type is and what you should do.

3. IEtherapy quiz: The histrionic personality disorder test by IEtherapy is a fast way for you to find out if you have HPD disorder. They have a list of quizzes lined up to help you determine whether you truly have the disorder. Visit the website to find out more about it.

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Signs and Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder

In many cases, a histrionic personality disorder is not a grave psychological disorder because people with this disorder often possess good social skills. But they use these skills as a tool to manipulate others so that all attention can be shifted on them.

During the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it was reported that people that have histrionic personality disorder have at least five of the following symptoms:

  • Experience rapid change in mood and emotions
  • Can be easily influenced by others.
  • Exhibit inappropriate flirtatious behavior and consistently tries to be seductive.
  • Be uncomfortable if not the center of attention in a gathering.
  • Shows excessive concern as regards physical appearance.
  • Act exaggeratedly and overly dramatic yet without sincere emotions.
  • Have an incoherent lack of clarity and wisdom in their speech.
  • Consistently seek validation and approval from others.
  • Often start a project and abandon midway, and easily bored by routine.
  • Constantly unable to maintain relationships.
  • Always very sensitive to criticism and very self-absorbed.
  • Make hasty and rash decisions without thinking tHem through.
  • Issue suicidal threats or even attempt it just to garner attention.

Finally, if you have a histrionic personality disorder, you easily get frustrated and uninterested.

Now that we understand the symptoms of histrionic personality disorder let us discuss the causes of this disorder.

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Causes of a Histrionic Personality Disorder

The actual cause of the histrionic personality disorder is yet to be known till date. However, studies show that it starts manifesting in the early adulthood stage. 

According to several mental health professionals, histrionic personality disorder is largely influenced by both inherited traits and learned or acquired traits (genetics and environmental factors). 

For example, some families have histrionic personality disorder which may explain the genetic factor if also there is a high probability that the histrionic personality disorder is a learned behavior in the children.

Histrionic personality disorder can be acquired or learned if the children are not introduced to any form of discipline or positive reinforcement. Research has shown that a child may learn histrionic personality disorder to be the center of attention of the parents.

It can also be developed according to each person’s psychological style and temperament. And it may be as a result of stress coping mechanisms while a child was growing up. 

Whatever the case may be, histrionic personality disorder traits are evident by early adulthood.

Take this: Schizoid Personality Disorder Test

Effects of Histrionic Personality Disorder 

Many people with histrionic personality disorder still function well at work and in social spaces. However, those who have severe HPD, might experience several major problems in their day-to-day dealings.

This is not surprising as histrionic personality disorder can affect the career, and romantic lives of some of those with severe cases.

They may react rather untold towards a loss or a breakup. It might also be very difficult for them to have friends of the same gender because of their flirty nature. 

People usually get put off, and stay away from associating with them.

Histrionic Personality Disorder Examples

Here are some celebrities that have shown symptoms or have been diagnosed to have histrionic personality disorder.

1. Megan Fox: Megan Fox has been labeled by people to have both borderline and histrionic personality. Study has shown that the two disorders can be present together. Megan fox loves to be the center of attention like many other celebrities. Also, one of her tattoos is that of Marilyn Monroe, who is another famous person that is suspected to have histrionic personality disorder. 

2. Jessica Simpson: Jessica Simpson is another celebrity that has been said to show symptoms of histrionic personality disorder according to a newspaper story by Citizen Journalist, Roberto Carlos. In his words about Jessica he said, “While people crave attention, there are others who crave for it in excess; sometimes people in reality TV shows,” quipped Carlos, “…Jessica Simpson…she received attention on the MTV Reality TV Show called “Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica” before she left Nick to seek better opportunities.”

3. Kanye West: Rachel Kitson, a psychologist, shared her view on the behavior of rap music artist. According to Kitson, West is always attention-seeking, observing that he gets “the biggest bang for the buck” by engaging in any scope of topics and taking a strong stance on it without little concern about how credible or not his platform is. He seems to not care about the type of attention he garners whether good or bad.

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Histrionic Personality Disorder vs Bpd

Histrionic personality disorder and Borderline personality disorder have some similarities and some differences. Both HPD and BPD strongly express their emotions and are quick to shift their moods.

Another similarity is that people with Histrionic personality disorder and Borderline personality disorder do act quickly on impulse.

However, as there are similarities, there are differences. While people with histrionic personality disorder make use of their physical appearance to seduce and act inappropriately, people with borderline personality disorder believe they are just bad.

Although people with histrionic personality disorder rely on people’s validation, they do not consider themselves to be bad, they just suffer from low self-esteem. There are arguments that people with BPD feel emotions more strongly than those with HPD.

Read: What are the 16 Personality Types? By [Myer Briggs] + Free Tests

Histrionic Personality Disorder vs Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The histrionic personality disorder and the narcissistic personality disorder both stem from the Cluster B personality disorder group. And just as people with HPD, people with Narcissistic personality disorder love and seek attention.

However, as people with histrionic personality disorder aim to seek validation from attention, people with narcissistic personality disorder aim to feel the admiration of others for them and get elated. Hence, while people with NPD are concerned about who finds them attractive, people with HPD do not care about where the attention is coming from as long as someone finds them cute or even silly.


  • Do histrionics have empathy?

People with histrionic personality disorder are capable of showing empathy and other pleasant qualities to people as long as they are not affected by the situation. Therefore, they are more than capable of feeling concerned for others. 

  • How to know if someone has histrionic personality disorder? 

There is no proven way to diagnose Histrionic personality disorder. However, visit your healthcare center with your symptoms. Your primary care provider should be able to trace if there is any physical cause.

If your primary care provider is unable to do anything, it’s best to see a psychiatrist.

  • Are histrionics manipulative? 

People with histrionic personality disorder can be very dramatic and charming, and they can be quite expressive. However, they tend to be manipulative so as to keep the attention on them. They make use of their body to seduce others or make suicidal attempts to maintain the attention of others. 

  • Does histrionic personality disorder get worse with age? According to research, any personality disorder can worsen with age including histrionic personality disorders.
  • Why do histrionics cheat? A person with histrionic personality disorder cheats on their partner because they need to desperately get the attention that they feel they do not get from their partner.


You should see your doctor quickly if you notice that you exhibit more than five of the listed symptoms. As much as many people do not think they need to be diagnosed with this disorder, it is highly recommended especially if you want to pursue a romantic relationship.

  • busayo.longe
  • on 8 min read


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