What Is Histrionic Persona Dysfunction?


April 29, 2022 – Amid all the eye this month to actor Johnny Depp’s $50 million lawsuit in opposition to ex-wife Amber Heard, a psychological time period has entered the general public’s lexicon: histrionic persona dysfunction.

Depp says that an op-ed Heard wrote in 2018 harm his profession, and he’s suing for defamation.

The time period was utilized in court docket throughout the testimony of Shannon Curry, PsyD, a scientific and forensic psychologist in California and Hawaii, who carried out a psychological analysis of Heard and stated that she met with Heard for 12 hours.

Curry testified that Heard has each borderline persona dysfunction and histrionic persona dysfunction. Heard has stated she has posttraumatic stress dysfunction.

Because of her situation, Heard could be very involved with picture, susceptible to cruelty and blaming others, and unable to confess duty for doing one thing incorrect, Curry testified, as reported in Newsweek.

So what precisely is histrionic persona dysfunction, and the way does it differ from the opposite, better-known persona problems, similar to paranoid, narcissistic, or obsessive-compulsive?

Histrionic persona dysfunction – histrionic means overly theatrical or melodramatic – tends to be extra frequent in girls, could be discovered or inherited, and comes with “intense, unstable feelings and distorted self-images,” in response to the Cleveland Clinic.

And people with the dysfunction are inclined to behave dramatically, depend on different individuals’s approval to bolster their shallowness, and have an “overwhelming need to be seen.”

Histrionic persona dysfunction is much much less generally recognized than narcissistic or borderline persona dysfunction, says Jessica January Behr, PsyD, a licensed psychologist in New York Metropolis.

“The standards for the dysfunction might be rather more generally seen than recognized,” she says. “To diagnose somebody with histrionic persona dysfunction, an individual has to satisfy 5 out of 9 very particular standards.”

These 9 standards embrace being uncomfortable until you’re the focal point, your feelings shifting quickly, performing very dramatically – as if performing earlier than an viewers – with exaggerated feelings and expressions but showing to lack sincerity, and always looking for reassurance or approval, in response to the Cleveland Clinic.

In the end, this dysfunction is a severe one, and the label shouldn’t be used until a psychological well being skilled who has evaluated you and carried out sure diagnostic exams confirms it.

For therapy, individuals with the dysfunction will usually search counseling to uncover the motivations and fears related to their ideas and conduct, and the counselor will assist the particular person be taught to narrate to others in a extra optimistic method.

A well being care skilled may also prescribe remedy to deal with the despair and anxiousness that always include this dysfunction, in response to the Cleveland Clinic.

“It’s good that persons are studying about this psychological time period, but it surely’s necessary to keep away from making an armchair analysis,” Behr says. “We additionally should watch out to not conflate ‘dramatic’ and ‘histrionic.’ To have histrionic persona dysfunction requires sure standards to be met, and this isn’t a time period for use flippantly.”

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