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What Is Histrionic Personality Disorder?


April 29, 2022 – Amid all the eye this month to actor Johnny Depp’s $50 million lawsuit towards ex-wife Amber Heard, a psychological time period has entered the general public’s lexicon: histrionic personality disorder.

Depp says that an op-ed Heard wrote in 2018 harm his profession, and he’s suing for defamation.

The time period was utilized in court docket throughout the testimony of Shannon Curry, PsyD, a scientific and forensic psychologist in California and Hawaii, who carried out a psychological evaluation of Heard and mentioned that she met with Heard for 12 hours.

Curry testified that Heard has each borderline personality disorder and histrionic persona dysfunction. Heard has mentioned she has posttraumatic stress disorder.

As a consequence of her situation, Heard could be very involved with picture, liable to cruelty and blaming others, and unable to confess accountability for doing one thing improper, Curry testified, as reported in Newsweek.

So what precisely is histrionic persona dysfunction, and the way does it differ from the opposite, better-known persona problems, comparable to paranoid, narcissistic, or obsessive-compulsive?

Histrionic persona dysfunction – histrionic means overly theatrical or melodramatic – tends to be extra widespread in ladies, will be realized or inherited, and comes with “intense, unstable feelings and distorted self-images,” in response to the Cleveland Clinic.

And people with the dysfunction are likely to behave dramatically, depend on different individuals’s approval to bolster their vanity, and have an “overwhelming want to be seen.”

Histrionic persona dysfunction is way much less generally recognized than narcissistic or borderline persona dysfunction, says Jessica January Behr, PsyD, a licensed psychologist in New York Metropolis.

“The factors for the dysfunction might be far more generally seen than recognized,” she says. “To diagnose somebody with histrionic persona dysfunction, an individual has to satisfy 5 out of 9 very particular standards.”

These 9 standards embody being uncomfortable except you’re the focus, your feelings shifting quickly, performing very dramatically – as if performing earlier than an viewers – with exaggerated feelings and expressions but showing to lack sincerity, and always in search of reassurance or approval, in response to the Cleveland Clinic.

Finally, this dysfunction is a critical one, and the label shouldn’t be used except a mental health knowledgeable who has evaluated you and carried out sure diagnostic exams confirms it.

For therapy, individuals with the dysfunction will usually search counseling to uncover the motivations and fears related to their ideas and habits, and the counselor will assist the individual be taught to narrate to others in a extra optimistic approach.

A well being care skilled may also prescribe remedy to deal with the depression and anxiousness that usually include this dysfunction, in response to the Cleveland Clinic.

“It’s good that individuals are studying about this psychological time period, nevertheless it’s essential to keep away from making an armchair analysis,” Behr says. “We additionally need to watch out to not conflate ‘dramatic’ and ‘histrionic.’ To have histrionic persona dysfunction requires sure standards to be met, and this isn’t a time period for use evenly.”

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