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I am a psychologist who has been in private practice for over 15 years in Bryn Mawr, PA-Western Suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I have a special interest in issues affecting women.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mondern Legal Tactics-Histrionic Personality Disorder In the Sandusky Trail.

                         
     You are most likely aware of the Jerry Sandusky defense team's decision to use a personality disorder to explain their client's seductive letters to his alleged victims. Personality disorders are psychiatric conditions that are considered "functional" illnesses rather than debilitating mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Personality disorders result from inadequate parenting and a deprived family environment.
     The word histrionic is derived from the Latin word histrionics which means having to do with acting or dramatics. Individuals suffering from histrionic personality disorder exhibit a pervasive pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking behaviors and act in the following ways:

- are uncomfortable in situations where they are not the center of attention.
- interactions with others are characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or
   provocative behavior.
- display rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions.
- consistently use their physical appearance to draw attention to self.
- display self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion.
- are suggestible and easily influenced by others or circumstances.
- consider relationships to be more intimate than they actually are.
 
      The attention seeking behaviors of individuals suffering from histrionic personality disorder stems from their lack of receiving adequate attention and emotional connection from parental figures. They spend their lives desperately searching for attention from acquaintances, friends, and family members in the hopes of feeling validated and acknowledged. Treatment for these individuals involves a minimum of one to two years of intensive psychotherapy (medications have not been found to be effective in treating this disorder) with the goal of having the therapist provide parental affirmations and the emotional connection that we all need in order to thrive and grow. 

Do you know someone who has histrionic personality disorder? Do you find yourself seeking attention from others? What are your thoughts about histrionic personality disorder? I would like to hear from you.

To learn more about me and my practice please visit my web site at www.drpauladurlofsky.com.



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