I am a 27 y/o female...long story short I have been having a hard time since moving in with my boyfriend of 4 years, lots of different issues but a lot stemming from my own personal issues...things I always considered to be flaws but not serious problems...last year I saw a psychologist shortly because I thought I had ADD/ADHD. I am on Adderall which is helping me at work but I am not sure whether its helping because I do have ADHD or because it speeds me up and makes me want to work...I have felt good about my performance at work while on it and the only bad side effect is loss of appetite which is not so bad since I have had a problem with binge eating for a long time....
The issue is that when I am not at work I am still the same person and it is becoming a serious problem. The other day I randomly decided to start reading about personality disorders and came across histrionic....started reading and was shocked with the fact that it seemed like a very accurate description of me. It was pretty scary to tell the truth....and then I came across a forum which after reading some turned out to be more of a support group for "victims" of HPD. Made me feel AWFUL...made me think a lot...I could not sleep that night and the next day I was questioning all my actions...but then as is typical I suppose I talked myself out of feeling awful over the next few days and telling myself everything is ok....but I just cant shake it and feeling like I need to do something...I am strongly considering starting to see a shrink.
One thing I wonder is...can a person have a lesser form of this PD? I mean can they carry most of the traits and yet not be a complete "emotional *******" that HPD supposedly creates? Especially after reading all the things the people had to say about their "ex-HPDs" I felt this huge wave of hopelessness and fear. I cant figure out if anything I say or do is genuine or just part of a disorder...right now typing this I am having to second guess what I type...like by saying I felt hopelessness and fear is that just me being "over dramatic"?
The odd thing is once I read about this disorder as much as I try I cant be in denial about it, I know this is me, and finally things make sense, but not in a good way...like ADHD kind of did...ok take a pill get better....this to me, is scary as hell, to think it could get worse, and maybe I cant make it better...and maybe even when I think that I am being genuine I am not? I have been trying to think...I know these things describe me so well but what do I know about myself that rules this out and I cant really find anything...I feel that I am compassionate towards people, and I dont think I use everybody, although I do some...I have a hard time beleiving that I could be this stone cold careless leecher of other people.
Anyways...any input would be appreciated...hope somebody can shed some light...
Hi there, for one the histrionic personality disorder is really interesting.
I have a degree in mental health and out of all the research done histrionics can be the most fun to work with! So look on the bright side...the disorder is not all bad...because histrionics are usually fun, hyper, and very social people.
Focus on improving empathy and honesty. Empathy and sensitivity for yourself and others is very important. Do research into empathy and active listening. Decrease your anxiety by exercising, eating your favorite food, swimming, resting, dancing etc. Being sensitive to other people's feelings and opinions is so important and it is important to open an honest discussion with people you care about or people that might want to know or befriend you. It is important to keep certain unchanging people at an arms length, for example those people who are really skilled at creating chaos and conflict in your life and there has been a history of chaos, drama, addiction with them etc. Block those people out of your life or keep them at an arms length if they wish to not change their ways.
Histrionics tend to base their decisions only on intuition or a gut feeling, instead of doing just that think your thoughts through and then combine that with your gut feeling and look into or somewhat analyze the situation more before making decisions. Such as before I panic over having a disorder and feeling super guilty I will look more into it and hope that I will find something positive and helpful out of it.
Do research into it and any other traits you think are causing problems in your life. And ask questions like "Do you think you are addicted to drama and must have drama in your life for it to be fun"? If so what other safe and respectable things can you do during the week to prevent yourself from creating havoc and drama with innocent people or within yourself?
Counselors and therapists can help but call around first and find a therapist who specializes in personality disorders, not depression, not anxiety, not trauma, but personality disorders.
Cognitive, behavior, and emotion focused therapies imo are awesome. Also Adlerian counseling is great too!
Counselors and therapists should be licensed by the state. Counselors on occasion have acted out unethically and will do so in subtle ways such as refusing to use psychological techniques to help you improve your life, showing up late to sessions, ending sessions late or too early, being forgetful, snide, arrogant, changing the topic of conversation just to have control over you, being sarcastic, and not having empathy for your feelings or situation are all bad signs and you will need to either work it out with the counselor or probably the best way to go is to leave and find another counselor. So be cautious.
Good luck and ask me any questions.
Last edited by strongernow; 07-16-2007 at 12:10 PM.
I didn't read all of the other posters responses, but what struck me was when you asked if you can have "traits" and not the disorder. The whole definition of a "disorder" is that it is pervasive enough to affect your life. I read the DSM criteria for borderline PD and it is my mom to a T in terms of traits, but she doesn't have the disorder since it is not pervasive and it does not impede on her FUNCTIONING. That is the difference..... everyone has their "issues". If we self-diagnose we fall "victim" more of the problems of self-diagnosis than we do of the disorder. You need to see a professional. The treatment is more important than the "what you have". The "what you have" guides the treatment, however, maybe a therapist can give you the coping skills you need regardless of "what you have". Make sense?