How Does Histrionic Personality Disorder Contribute to Drug Abuse?

How Does Histrionic Personality Disorder Contribute to Drug Abuse?Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is a mental health condition in which individuals go to extremes to draw attention to themselves in dramatic ways. This condition tends to affect women more than men and usually first appears during the late teens or early twenties. If left untreated, histrionic personality disorder can contribute to other disorders including substance abuse and addiction.

Recognizing Histrionic Personality Disorder

Individuals with histrionic personality disorder suffer from an unhealthy need for constant attention. Though many histrionic individuals would prefer positive attention, this is often not enough and they resort to a wide range of behaviors that generate unhealthy and even dangerous attention. Some symptoms of this disorder include the following:

  • Acting excessively flirty or seductive
  • Dressing in a sexually provocative nature
  • Being narcissistic
  • Following others in an irresponsible or unhealthy way
  • Being prone to emotional outbursts and dramatic demonstrations
  • Overreacting to criticism or correction
  • Believing that relationships are more serious than they actually are
  • Blaming others or constantly shifting blame
  • Acting impatiently
  • Inability to tolerate delayed gratification
  • Impulsiveness
  • Emotional volatility
  • Needing constant validation or approval

The causes of histrionic personality disorder are unclear but it is believed to be due to a combination of genetic factors and negative childhood experiences related to acceptance, belonging and support.

Histrionic Personality Disorder and Drug Abuse

Individuals with this condition seek constant stimulation and attention and struggle to discipline themselves appropriately. Substance abuse offers immediate gratification, belonging, and in some cases, extreme drama and adventure. These are powerful draws to a person with histrionic personality disorder. It is even possible that the idea of addiction and rehab become romanticized in the mind of such a person because she believes it will make her the center of everyone’s attention and care.

Treating Histrionic Personality Disorder and Addiction

Although medical attention may be required to manage symptoms of depression in the short-term, the best overall treatment for histrionic personality disorder is talk therapy or counseling. Special types of counseling can help these individuals identify their destructive habits and faulty thinking and then make real and lasting changes in their corresponding behaviors. With the proper help these individuals may find ways to channel their longing for attention and drama in healthy and productive ways. Many of these individuals are also highly creative and benefit from constructive self-expression exercises.

Obviously if a person with histrionic personality disorder also faces an addiction she will need psychological rehabilitation. It is critical that individuals with HPD find help for all aspects of their mental and emotional help.

Histrionic Personality Disorder and Addiction Help

For more information on histrionic personality disorder, or to find the best treatment options for yourself or a loved one, please call our confidential, 24 hour helpline today. There is more to this disorder than simply being a drama queen. If left untreated, the results can be devastating. Don’t let that happen to you or your loved one. Call now.