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Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment

The best histrionic personality disorder treatment is talk therapy. Get in-depth information on treatment for histrionic personality disorder and prognosis.

Histrionic personality disorder treatment can give those with the disorder a stronger sense of self and coping skills to help them behave more appropriately in a broad range of social situations. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the best treatment for histrionic personality disorder is talk therapy.

Some people, however, may respond to other treatment approaches, especially if they have co-occurring mental health disorders.

Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment

A variety of approaches are used in histrionic personality disorder treatment, including cognitive behavior therapy, talk therapy, and, occasionally, group therapy. All of these treatments address the various histrionic personality disorder symptoms.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps people identify thoughts, feelings, and experiences that influence their behaviors. It's usually a short-term treatment approach, making it more affordable than other therapies, such as psychoanalytic therapy. For individuals with histrionic personality disorder, identifying thought patterns and their origins could help them make the connection between these thoughts and their behaviors. This, in turn, allows them to see how they can work to change their thoughts to successfully change their behavior.

Talk therapy – Talk therapy is really a catchall term that refers to the various types of interactions between a therapist and a client. Talk therapy sessions use conversation as the primary way to move forward in treatment. Practitioners can incorporate talk therapy into almost any treatment approach, including CBT. Talk therapy is an effective treatment for histrionic personality disorder because people with the condition like to talk. Speaking candidly and aloud about their feelings and experiences can bring clarity about distorted thoughts and beliefs that negatively influence behavior. The therapist can capitalize on this clarity and teach the client new ways to cope with various situations and challenges, especially in social situations where someone else is the center of attention.

Group therapy – Most therapists don't use group therapy in treatment for histrionic personality disorder because individuals with the condition often try to draw attention to themselves. They may exaggerate their difficulties and experiences in an emotionally charged way that isn't conducive to an effective session for others in the group. However, sometimes, when a patient has made good progress toward recovery, group therapy can help her practice appropriate behavior in a group setting. With the therapist present, the client will still feel safe and free to try the give-and-take most people practice in social situations.

Mental health professionals should tailor histrionic personality disorder therapy to fit the needs of individual patients. Some have found success using a combination of approaches and others find using a single approach works best.

Histrionic Personality Disorder Medications

The FDA has not approved any drugs for use as histrionic personality disorder medications. Unless the patient has co-occurring conditions, most mental health professionals avoid prescribing anything to people with HPD. If, however, the patient has another condition, such as depression or anxiety, the doctor may prescribe medication to reduce associated symptoms.

Histrionic Personality Disorder Prognosis

Histrionic personality disorder prognosis is good as long as the individual sticks to the treatment plan and follows the therapist's instructions. Left untreated, the disorder can begin to cause problems in the individual's personal life, resulting in high levels of stress and anxiety.

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Last Updated: 20 July 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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