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So I was diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder today during a 3-hour-long MI assessment with a therapist I'd never met and will only see again in 10-12 weeks when my formal diagnoses all come back from being analyzed or whatever the hell this guy is doing.

I did some reading, and this is probably going to make me sound even crazier (hah), but I don't know that the symptoms of histrionic personality disorder are necessarily bad, or bad enough to be its own damn disorder? This is totally my opinion on it, of course, but like, it sounds like just about everyone I went to art school with.

Does anyone else have this dx? Could anyone recommend some good reading materials? I will see my therapist on Thursday to discuss, but in the meantime I could definitely use some darn support on this. I'm super lost.

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You don't hear much about this disorder, it's usually the "hypersensitive emotional" females get DX'd with Borderline. I don't know much about HPD, but so many people probably identify with being hypersensitive to criticism and have a desire for approval. Maybe a bit neurotic, but a disorder??

When I read the description, it just sounds like the Drama students or Art majors I went to High School with, attention-seeking is a behavior that everyone exhibits on Instagram or FB these days...I suppose when it's a disorder, it's behaviors that cause havoc on either your (or others) lives? Would you say that is true for you?

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hey, welcome to the "PDs that aren't BPD" club. :P 

i thought the same thing of my OCPD dx when i was first looking into it. like, so what? i work too hard, i'm attentive to details, how is this a disorder, and what's bad about it? i think my first CB post was actually to the effect of "this is my dx, is it actually bad?"

you know how they say that people with PDs sometimes don't recognize it because they see their behaviour as normal? that's true, and it takes a looooong time to begin to actually see the ways in which your behaviour or thoughts are disordered, and it takes a hell of a lot longer to correct them. the other thing is that there isn't much info about PDs outside of BPD, so you sort of have to feel your way around. it takes time before you can look at something you're thinking/doing, and realize, "hey, wait, i know what's going on here, and it's not right." i'm able to see OCPD patterns in the stuff i do outside of the symptoms listed in the DSM, but i've had this dx for a couple years and have been in therapy for the majority of that time.

what helped me was talking to professionals who were familiar with my dx (my first pdoc who dx'ed me was amazing in that regard), talking to others with it (i found folks on tumblr, and also @ananke here!), and reading everything i could get my hands on about it. there might be limited info online, but there may be a book or two about HPD, or some studies. information is out there, it's just up to you to find it.

like any new dx, you'll have to sit on it for a while. i don't think i really "got" my OCPD for the first year or so of being dx'ed. it takes time. for now, keep it in your back pocket, and when you get to see the guy who tested you again, push that you want to talk about it. 

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4 hours ago, Blahblah said:

You don't hear much about this disorder, it's usually the "hypersensitive emotional" females get DX'd with Borderline. I don't know much about HPD, but so many people probably identify with being hypersensitive to criticism and have a desire for approval. Maybe a bit neurotic, but a disorder??

When I read the description, it just sounds like the Drama students or Art majors I went to High School with, attention-seeking is a behavior that everyone exhibits on Instagram or FB these days...I suppose when it's a disorder, it's behaviors that cause havoc on either your (or others) lives? Would you say that is true for you?

Right right! Yeah, I guess it would have to be causing problems in my life for it to be a real issue... I'm not sure just yet if it is. I need to think on it, and I am going to talk to my therapist on Thursday.

4 hours ago, wookie said:

I honestly thought the disorder has been ruled out of the DSM-5

Nope, it was in the DSM-V reference book on the guy's desk. 😕

36 minutes ago, echolocation said:

hey, welcome to the "PDs that aren't BPD" club. :P 

i thought the same thing of my OCPD dx when i was first looking into it. like, so what? i work too hard, i'm attentive to details, how is this a disorder, and what's bad about it? i think my first CB post was actually to the effect of "this is my dx, is it actually bad?"

you know how they say that people with PDs sometimes don't recognize it because they see their behaviour as normal? that's true, and it takes a looooong time to begin to actually see the ways in which your behaviour or thoughts are disordered, and it takes a hell of a lot longer to correct them. the other thing is that there isn't much info about PDs outside of BPD, so you sort of have to feel your way around. it takes time before you can look at something you're thinking/doing, and realize, "hey, wait, i know what's going on here, and it's not right." i'm able to see OCPD patterns in the stuff i do outside of the symptoms listed in the DSM, but i've had this dx for a couple years and have been in therapy for the majority of that time.

what helped me was talking to professionals who were familiar with my dx (my first pdoc who dx'ed me was amazing in that regard), talking to others with it (i found folks on tumblr, and also @ananke here!), and reading everything i could get my hands on about it. there might be limited info online, but there may be a book or two about HPD, or some studies. information is out there, it's just up to you to find it.

like any new dx, you'll have to sit on it for a while. i don't think i really "got" my OCPD for the first year or so of being dx'ed. it takes time. for now, keep it in your back pocket, and when you get to see the guy who tested you again, push that you want to talk about it. 

Hahaha thanks, echo. And right, yeah, it doesn't FEEL like a bad thing, just like hey I'm me. You're right that I see my behavior as normal, at least for me. Definitely not for others though. I'm going to scour Amazon for books on HPD and hope I find something decent. Probably a good idea to ask my therapist about the authors before buying them. Your advice sounds solid, and I really appreciate it! :)

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Welcome welcome! As echo said, welcome to the not-BPD personality disorder club! No hate to the BPD-ers, we're all in the psychological dump together. I'm sorry, I can't help you with HPD specifics, but very open to chat about having a PD in general. One thing I got to grips with is that the reason PD's sound kind of normal is because (with some exceptions) a lot of PD traits are just normal human personality traits that have been pushed to extremes. Extreme circumstances (abuse, trauma, ACE's) force extreme responses (PD's). The way I break down a PD diagnosis is that there are two components- normal personality traits pushed to an extreme (e.g. perfectionism, dramatic, anxious) plus a general cluster of MI symptoms (e.g. delusions, mood instability, obsessive behaviours). Hope that makes sense?

I try to take my PD symptoms with a pinch of salt. There are a lot of OCPD things that hurt me (chronic suicidal ideation for one) so if a symptom is bothering me, I address it. If I pick up that my tdoc or loved ones are concerned or frustrated with something I'm doing (like my self righteousness haha) then I try to take the feedback. But I'm not an inherently bad person. I found ACT to be really helpful. I think I try to work on being a version of 'me' that I can be proud of more than most, and especially those without a PD. 

In short, having a PD doesn't make you a bad person. If there are aspects of the Dx which you can relate to and they hurt you, you can work on them. But you don't need a personality transplant. You're still full of the same flaws and draws as everyone else. TBH the most debilitating parts of my PD are the MI symptoms, though the perfectionism et al isn't great either. Also yes, there is almost nothing out there by way of supportive resources. BPD-ers probably have more than most but that also comes with higher awareness and stigma, so 😕

And if you think it over, research, talk to other pdocs and still say 'this really doesn't sound like me', still come talk to me. I was misdiagnosed with BPD and I have a lot of thoughts on that (again, no hate to BPD-ers, not your fault).

I was on the wiki page for HPD and misread 'rapidly shifting emotional states' as 'rapidly shitting', which says way more about my personality than this effing diagnosis.

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https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/personality-disorders/histrionic-personality-disorder-hpd

i was always told (by my psychopathology classes and by a few docs) that sexual flirtation/permiscuity was a hallmark - or at least a characteristic- symptom of HPD diagnosis, which help delineate it more as a distress-causing disorder but it seems the tdoc who saw you is using broader criteria- which makes me think that you are justified in wondering if there is actually a “disorder” to be found 

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4 hours ago, ananke said:

I'm sorry, I can't help you with HPD specifics, but very open to chat about having a PD in general.

Thank you so much! :) I also appreciate your detailed reply, you're awesome.

4 hours ago, ananke said:

I found ACT to be really helpful.

I'm doing ACT right now actually, so I guess I'm already on the right track!

4 hours ago, ananke said:

I was on the wiki page for HPD and misread 'rapidly shifting emotional states' as 'rapidly shitting', which says way more about my personality than this effing diagnosis.

lmao!!!

4 hours ago, Iceberg said:

https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/personality-disorders/histrionic-personality-disorder-hpd

i was always told (by my psychopathology classes and by a few docs) that sexual flirtation/permiscuity was a hallmark - or at least a characteristic- symptom of HPD diagnosis, which help delineate it more as a distress-causing disorder but it seems the tdoc who saw you is using broader criteria- which makes me think that you are justified in wondering if there is actually a “disorder” to be found 

Thanks for the link!

And yeah he was using all 7 criteria from the DSM, and I responded yes to all 7.

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