Introduction to This Blog Series
I was 27 years old when I entered into the realization that there was something wrong with me and one of the original diagnosis was Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD.
But, not a lot was known about this horribly stigmatized disorder because BPD patients were considered impossible to treat or wrongly diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.
Along with BPD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS) were also added to my diagnostic mix.
ADHD was quickly debunked and over the past two decades most professionals leaned towards my having PTSD or a Dissociative Disorder – but something about these disorders never seemed to fit.
Add menopause to the mix and the confusion became even more confusing.
Here are past blogs I’ve written about my struggles with anxiety and what felt like PTSD or DDNOS:
- Managing Anxiety -The Space of No Mind
- Managing Anxiety and the Mind of Choice
- Anxiety – The Antithesis of Personal Connection
- Anxiety & Cannabidiol (CBD) & Exercise
- Trauma, Flashbacks and Dissociative Disorders
- AM I: In a Panic Attack or Trauma Response or Dissociation or Menopause? How Do I Tell The Difference?
As well, I have a history of alcohol addiction.
On February 17th, 2022 I celebrate my second year living an alcohol-free life.
My Struggles With Alcohol Can be Read in These Blogs:
- Mystic Order – Reiki Level IIIA – 21 Day Cleanse – A Miracle Has Happened
- Spiritual Discipline – My Alcohol Addiction – My Story Now
- Personal Development – Cutting the Ties That Bind – Saying Goodbye to Alcohol
- Is Too Much a Choice or Addiction?
- Personal Development – A Wild Woman’s Journey With Drinking and Hedonism While Walking the Spiritual Path
- Personal Development – A Wild Woman’s Slow Transformation Towards Her Best Self
- OYNB – One Year No Beer – This Wild Woman’s Successful Journey of the 28 Day Challenge and Beyond!
- Personal Development – A Wild Woman Walking the Spiritual Path – A Wild Woman Redefined? Absolutely!
- Personal Development – Living Alcohol Free – Musings During Day 78
- Just For Today – I Will Do My Work Honestly
- Just For Today – I Will Do My Work Honestly
- Personal Development – Living An Alcohol Free Life – Year One
And now, at 52 years old, and after a thorough assessment by a seasoned psychiatrist – I am finally properly diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder.
This blog series called Owning and Unraveling Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder is my way of processing and understanding these complex personality disorders and how they manifest, interfere with and enhance my life.
And, as it has been said to me from friends who have family members with Borderline Personality Disorder, perhaps I can help dispel misconceptions and stigmas associated with these mental illnesses.
As well, perhaps I can shed some light and more personal information on what living with Histrionic Personality Disorder is like, for those who are also walking this path.
Books About HPD Are Scarce
Basically, there seems to be very few books published specifically about Histrionic Personality Disorder.
Lots of Information on HPD Via DSM 5
When I Google DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR)) and Histrionic Personality Disorder, there is more selection.
According to Therapedia:
Histrionic Personality Disorder is a DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed.) diagnosis assigned to individuals who display patterns of attention-seeking, often dramatic behavior to gain the approval of others. This behavior may be flirtatious, emotional, seductive or otherwise in order to capture the attention of onlookers.
Long associated with the historical term hysteria – histrionic being a derivative – histrionic personality disorder is a mental condition characterized by over-the-top behavior, such as emotional outbursts, noisy displays of temper, compulsive attention seeking and self-centredness.
Sufferers of histrionic personality disorder may overreact and exaggerate, assume greater familiarity with others than actually exists, pay excessive attention to their appearance and display narcissistic qualities. A Cluster B personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder is closely related to other conditions within the bracket, such as borderline, antisocial, and narcissistic personality disorders.
Histrionic personality disorder affects an estimated one to three per cent of the American population1) and is more prevalent among women than men. The condition often results in distress for the sufferer and may adversely impact on social, occupational and other areas of life.
Symptoms of histrionic personality disorder include the following:
- Shallow, changeable emotions
- Assumed intimacy with others
- Hypersensitivity to criticism
- Manipulative behavior
- Disproportionate emotional reactions
- Sexually provocative behavior
- A compulsive desire for attention
- Preoccupation with appearance
- Suggestible and easily influenced
Diagnosis criteria for histrionic personality disorder
In order to make a diagnosis of histrionic personality disorder, a psychological examination is necessary, along with a general evaluation of the patient’s behavior and overall appearance.
There is no set test to determine whether someone has histrionic personality disorder. Previously, a number of pointers were specified in an earlier edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in order to help clinicians make a diagnosis3). At least five of the following traits needed to be recorded for a diagnosis to be indicated:
- A compulsion to be the center of attention that results in discomfort if unmet
- Inappropriate sexual, seductive or provocative behavior when interacting with others
- Shallow, rapidly shifting emotions
- The use of physical appearance to draw others’ attention
- Dramatic, impressionistic speech that lacks detail
- Exaggerated, theatrical emotional expression
- Easily influenced by others or situations
- Assumes relationships are more intimate than they are
It all fits.
I’ve Borderline Personality Disorder, too.
It deeply shames me that I am so closely associated with narcissistic and antisocial personality disorders.
I feel like I must be a monster.
But what I do know is that this little girl is in me, too…
She was not born a monster.
I Can Feel HPD In Me – I Can Feel BPD In Me – Both Feel Unique – Like Two Different Hats
BPD feels like I become possessed with an emotion.
It overtakes me.
Most of all the fear of abandonment.
The fear of abandonment consumes me with a fear that feels like I am fighting to even stay alive – I will die without this person.
HPD feels like a desperate need to be heard – to be seen – for someone to pay attention to me – to love me – and that I will do whatever it takes to get someone’s attention – even changing who I am.
Most of all HPD feels like I need the approval/permission of others to exist in the world.
This is hard to talk about – but eventually I will.
I need to make sense of my suffering so I can perhaps help others who are in my shoes.
That is it for now.
This is a lot to process.
Owning and Unraveling Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Forget Everything I’ve Said – I’ve Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder – Introduction to Symptoms & Causes
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Today’s Ramble on Identity & Calm & CBD & THC
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Scrambled Egg Thoughts & Soaring Eagles
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – The World is Hard Work
- Borderline Personality Disorder – Emotions Borderline Style & Seeing Is Believing
- Borderline Personality Disorder – Intentional Interventions & Ah-Ha Moments
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Anger & Lettin’ Loose & How BPD Am I?
- Borderline Personality Disorder – Mindfulness & Releasing Repressed Grief
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – The Stigma & Non-Social Acceptance
- Borderline Personality Disorder – Practicing Non-Judgement & Finding Synthesis Between Opposites
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – The Start of EMDR – Creating New Pathways to Calm
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – The Pros and Cons of Medical THC & CBD
- Histrionic Personality Disorder – This One’s Hard To Process – Gonna Be Baby Steps
- Borderline Personality Disorder & HistrionicPersonality Disorder – In Need of A Reset
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Owning The Chaos – It Has Made My Life Interesting
- Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder – Anxious – Ambivalent (Preoccupied) Attachment Style