April 29, 2022 – Amid all the eye this month to actor Johnny Depp’s $50 million lawsuit towards ex-wife Amber Heard, a psychological time period has entered the general public’s lexicon: histrionic personality disorder.
Depp says that an op-ed Heard wrote in 2018 damage his profession, and he’s suing for defamation.
The time period was utilized in court docket in the course of the testimony of Shannon Curry, PsyD, a medical and forensic psychologist in California and Hawaii, who carried out a psychological evaluation of Heard and stated that she met with Heard for 12 hours.
Resulting from her situation, Heard may be very involved with picture, susceptible to cruelty and blaming others, and unable to confess accountability for doing one thing improper, Curry testified, as reported in Newsweek.
So what precisely is histrionic character dysfunction, and the way does it differ from the opposite, better-known character problems, similar to paranoid, narcissistic, or obsessive-compulsive?
Histrionic character dysfunction – histrionic means overly theatrical or melodramatic – tends to be extra widespread in girls, will be realized or inherited, and comes with “intense, unstable feelings and distorted self-images,” in accordance with the Cleveland Clinic.
And people with the dysfunction are likely to behave dramatically, depend on different folks’s approval to bolster their shallowness, and have an “overwhelming want to be observed.”
Histrionic character dysfunction is much much less generally identified than narcissistic or borderline character dysfunction, says Jessica January Behr, PsyD, a licensed psychologist in New York Metropolis.
“The factors for the dysfunction might be way more generally seen than identified,” she says. “To diagnose somebody with histrionic character 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, appearing 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 accordance with the Cleveland Clinic.
In the end, this dysfunction is a critical one, and the label shouldn’t be used until a mental health knowledgeable who has evaluated you and carried out sure diagnostic checks confirms it.
For remedy, folks with the dysfunction will typically search counseling to uncover the motivations and fears related to their ideas and habits, and the counselor will assist the individual be taught to narrate to others in a extra optimistic means.
A well being care skilled may also prescribe remedy to deal with the depression and nervousness that usually include this dysfunction, in accordance with the Cleveland Clinic.
“It’s good that persons are studying about this psychological time period, however it’s essential to keep away from making an armchair prognosis,” Behr says. “We additionally need to watch out to not conflate ‘dramatic’ and ‘histrionic.’ To have histrionic character dysfunction requires sure standards to be met, and this isn’t a time period for use frivolously.”