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Histrionic Personality Disorder (3)

They often lie, frequently presenting a false picture or telling half-truths;


They are very easily influenced and overly trusting of strong authority figures;


They need to be motivated for change. This motivation only occurs when they are in enough emotional pain;


When in a significant relationship, they may try to communicate to the other person that the relationship is an intimate one when it is really very shallow and leaves a lot to be desired. They actually survive on their romantic fantasies;


They present themselves as either the “victim” or the “prince/princess;”


They are very emotional, destructively manipulative and show a marked dependency on people and things;


They constantly demand attention and caretaking—which easily drains relationships;  


Their relationships wear out quickly because they are not based on honesty; and


They need novelty in relationships and do not do well with routine.


People with these behaviors usually come from childhood backgrounds where love and affection were not expressed, especially by the parent of the opposite sex. They were usually over-indulged as children and not encouraged to think for themselves. This was the parents’ way of trying to show love without giving of themselves to the child. They may have gotten their needs met by pouting or crying or by being overly praised for their looks rather than their character. Many times they received rewards from being sick or from threatening to run away.  In the general population, it is believed that two to three percent of people will display some histrionic tendencies or symptoms. Within hospital or clinical settings, the percentage jumps to 10 to 15%. Females display more histrionic tendencies, usually dressing in a very extravagant fashion. Histrionic males tend to brag about their athletic skills, thereby seeking to be the center of attention.


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