Histrionic personality disorder is characterized by an excessively dramatic demeanor and frequent attention-seeking behavior, usually to the point where it drastically interferes in a teen’s interactions with others. While histrionic personality disorder is more common in adults, older teens can also be diagnosed with the condition provided their symptoms differentiate themselves from narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder, which share many of the same basic traits.
Much like someone diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, teens with histrionic personality disorder always seek to be at the center of attention and feel uncomfortable when they aren’t. However, they are willing to play the fool or the victim to get attention. They may even go so far as to unwittingly slip into personas or dramatize events to shift focus onto themselves, while someone who would be classified as narcissistic wouldn’t want to accept being seen as weak, or given attention in the form of pity.
Another common hallmark of histrionic personality disorder is the frequent use of sexual provocation and seduction to get attention, to the point where the condition makes it hard to build any meaningful friendship with others, as they may often cross boundaries they shouldn’t. At Visions Treatment Centers, we aim to help teens understand why their condition is affecting their lives so negatively and help them identify better coping mechanisms while learning to separate normal behavior from behavior driven by a demand for attention.