A-Z Teen Health Glossary

Teen Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment

Those who need teen histrionic personality disorder treatment are extremely concerned with attracting the attention of others, and so dress and behave in ways to draw attention to themselves. It’s from the attention and approval of others that they gain their sense of self-worth. What differentiates “normal” attention-seeking from a histrionic personality disorder is the way their behavior impairs normal human interaction, disrupts the potential for relationships, and keeps them from seeking long-term commitment to projects, relationships, and goals.

What Does Teen Histrionic Personality Disorder Look Like?

  • Only comfortable being in the center of attention. They will engage in inappropriate and seductive or provocative behavior to garner attention.
  • They will speak in a highly impressionistic manner. This means making bold statements with no reason or vague reasoning, such as exclaiming “that’s great!” simply for the sake of voicing a reaction, rather than holding an opinion.
  • They may be very easily persuaded and show no scruples when manipulating others. They are overly dramatic and exaggerate their emotions and experiences.

Signs of Teen Histrionic Personality Disorder

Extremely emotional and moody

Obsessing over appearance

Inability to handle disapproval

Appearing fake or insincere

Tendency toward risky behavior

Causes of Teen Histrionic Personality Disorder

Like with many other personality disorders, the leading theory is that a histrionic personality disorder is caused by a number of biopsychosocial factors. The exact mechanisms are not understood, but risk factors that contribute to the development of a histrionic personality disorder include:

Genetic factors – the biggest indicator of a personality disorder is family history. A family history of histrionic personality disorder or personality disorders in general suggests a greater risk of developing one.

Abuse – a disrupted, unstable or abusive childhood may result in a personality disorder to cope with the past.

Abandonment – histrionic behavior is linked to a host of severe and overwhelming insecurities, and an inherent fear of abandonment and loneliness. Ironically, the disorder makes teens push others away.

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Teen Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment | Paradigm Malibu


of the population struggles with a histrionic personality disorder.


of the US struggles with a personality disorder.


higher risk of substance abuse for people with personality disorders.

How Can I Help with Teen Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Don’t encourage their behavior – it can be hard at first to differentiate between fun-loving and sociable behavior and the kind of behavior that garners attention for attention’s sake. But once you catch the difference, don’t let it go. If your teen continues to struggle with histrionic behavior after treatment, ask them why they might have behaved that way. It’s okay to crave the center of attention, but it’s not okay to act on that impulse and engage in risky and destructive behavior for it.

Help them manage their thoughts – even after treatment, it can be difficult to consistently stay on top of thoughts and behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy are the primary talk therapy tools used to help teens better manage themselves and their disorder, but they do need help and support. Discuss their treatment with therapists to better understand what they need and how you can help.

Be there – one trigger for histrionic behavior may be an insecurity around being alone and feeling worthless. Just being around can help relieve some of that fear, especially after treatment.

What Types of Teen Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment Are Available?

Teen histrionic personality disorder treatment addresses the mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects associated with the illness. Through talk therapy, therapists help teens to recognize the attributes of their illness, underlying false beliefs and/or need for the approval of others, and the behaviors and habits that arise as a result.

Talk Therapy

Histrionic personality disorders often develop due to enduring patterns of behavior, practiced, and executed thousands of times. Such a personality disorder requires very thorough treatment, specifically targeting the person’s thoughts and feelings, so they can address their behavior.

As teens begin to make progress in addressing their underlying insecurities, they can also work on changing their behavior, while implementing healthy activities and habits to engage in, as well as alternative ways to deal with stress. Addressing the illness holistically allows for complete and lasting recovery, where teens can find relief from the compulsive nature of their illness, and instead, feel in control over their actions.


There is no medication that cures a histrionic personality disorder, but certain meds can help in cases where teens struggle with other mental health issues coupled with their personality disorder. Select medication can help teens reduce these symptoms, so they can better focus on their therapy progress.

Teen Histrionic Personality Disorder Treatment at Paradigm Malibu

Paradigm Malibu has several specialized facilities for teen mental health treatment, with on-site classrooms and amenities to promote emotional healing. The specifics of each treatment depend entirely on an individual’s circumstances and personal history, but our treatment for personality disorders always entails combining the latest and most effective therapeutic tools with the rehabilitative power of being among other teens in treatment, living close to nature, with daily programs that involve spending time outside and engaging with others in a healthy way.

A Place for Treatment

Our locations are all enveloped in nature, near natural hiking spots, beaches, overlooks, and/or parks. We believe that in addition to therapy and treatment-based classes, having access to a natural playground to experience nature and be active is important for emotional health. Studies support the claim that a greater exposure to nature is healthy for the mind and may even be necessary in treatment.

Being with Others

One of the major characteristics for a personality disorder is a major struggle with normal social behavior and appropriate social conduct. Everyone is unique, but there is a difference between acting logically and behaving irrationally.

I had been stumbling through life for many years, some good weeks, but mostly bad ones. I blamed everything negative in my life to bad luck or other people being jerks. It took a real bad event in my life to begin looking inward and to come to terms that i was the sole reason for all things bad in my life and I had no idea how to change or fix the problems. You've changed my life and I have the deepest gratitude to the entire staff for helping me to the depths you have. I will stay in touch throughout my life, as I feel like you really care how I am doing, and am going to do. 🙂
- Robert L.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teen Histrionic Personality Disorder

What if I want people’s approval but don’t think this is a bad thing?

It’s normal to want to be acknowledged and appreciated by others, but it becomes unhealthy if your desire for others’ attention is what motivates you to make your decisions. In the best of cases, this suggests a very strong insecurity and problems with self-esteem. And in the worst of cases, it may be coupled with behavior that you don’t see as destructive or negative, despite being an indication of a dangerous personality disorder.

Is a histrionic personality disorder curable?

The consensus is that, like other personality disorders, HPD may have something to do with unique structural differences in the brain. This means someone is genetically and physically more likely to struggle with these behaviors and thoughts. Until we find a root cause and possible solution to these changes, the best solution is to help teens handle the symptoms of their disorder, and live happy and socially-healthy lives despite their diagnosis. It’s not curable right now, but you can still lead a great life.

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