Histrionic personality disorder


A pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking

Clinical Features

  • Five (or more) of the following criteria, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts:[1]
    • Is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention.
    • Interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior.
    • Displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions.
    • Consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self.
    • Has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail.
    • Shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion.
    • Is suggestible (i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances).
    • Considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are.

Differential Diagnosis

  • Other personality disorders
  • Personality change due to another medical condition
  • Substance use disorders


A clinical diagnosis; however if entertaining other organic causes may initiate workup below

General ED Psychiatric Workup


Referral for outpatient psychiatric treatment, as psychotherapy is the primary treatment. Medication does little to affect the personality disorder but can be helpful with symptoms such as depression.



See Also

External Links


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.