There is an unfortunate overlap between the criteria on DSM-III for histrionic personality and for the borderline category. These criteria suggest a close relationship between the two in which the borderline group might be considered to be a more dysfunctional variant. Thus both groups tend to be dependent, manipulative, and affectively expressive.
There is greater stability and better function with this group. The criteria for both suicidal behavior and psychotic experiences will no longer be used to characterize the histrionic group. More critically, the central role of sexuality in the regulation of self-esteem and its overt interpersonal expressions in seductiveness, erotization, and rivalry with members of the same sex should become criteria for the histrionic group.
The histrionic patient is not predominantly angry as with the borderline
patient. Moreover, the histrionic patient may experience some periods of
sustained well-being and pleasure.
HISTRIONIC PERSONALITY DISORDER These individuals display overly dramatic and attention seeking behaviours. They are shallow of emotions, self-centered and they can be inappropriately sexually provocative.
Causes Roughly 2/3 also meet the criteria for antisocial personality disorder. The two disorders may represent sex-typed alternative expressions of the same underlying condition. Females exhibit a histrionic pattern whereas males exhibit an antisocial pattern.
Behaviour therapy has been used to target the attention seeking behaviours and encouraging more appropriate interpersonal behaviours.
* Core beliefs include "I am basically unattractive" or "I need other people to admire me in order to be happy".
* They use dramatics and demonstrativeness in order to bind people towards them; when they don't get their own way they believe that they are being treated unfairly and they try to coerce compliance or get even by throwing temper tantrums.
* The most prominent affect is gaiety and other high spirits; there may be an undercurrent of anxiety that reflects their fear of rejection.
How They Appear When Clustered
The DSM-III-R groups the personality disorders into three clusters:
Cluster A: disorders marked by odd
or eccentric behaviors.
Cluster C: disorders characterized by anxious
or fearful behaviors.
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