Characters with Histrionic Personality Disorder

In this blog we will discuss Characters with Histrionic Personality Disorder, also cover what is Histrionic Personality Disorder, its symptoms, treatment, movies characters that had HPD, and answer frequently asked questions.

Characters with Histrionic Personality Disorder

In a world full of flawed humans, oftentimes we forget that every person around is us going through something. Everyone is fighting their own battles, ones that you might be unaware of and that are deeply personal. 

As humans, it is perfectly normal to seek the occasional escape, after all, life does get stressful.

Movies have always been a way for people to experience a new culture, a new status quo, or perhaps even a new life.

 But what we don’t realize is that these films are made by imperfect people, starring imperfect actors for the entertainment of imperfect audiences. Thus, it is only normal for the characters in these stories to exhibit human traits, after all, no one is perfect, even in fiction.

Movies and TV shows often have storylines with people with flawed personalities, personal struggles, and even mental health conditions. 

We will discuss characters who had a histrionic personality disorder but before we get to that, let us understand histrionic personality disorder. 

Histrionic Personality Disorder 

In a person with Histrionic Personality disorder, their self-confidence and esteem are directly proportional to the approval and judgment of others.

They have an excessive tendency to be noticed and seen and are most of the time overdramatic and overreact in a bunch of situations for attention.

This disorder is a part of a group of conditions named dramatic personality disorders. 

Those who have HPD tend to have unstable emotions, vague or distorted self-image as well as intense thoughts.

Signs and Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder 

  • Manipulating others to get to be the centre of attention
  • Odd and upset mood when not given attention
  • Quickly changing emotions 
  • Dressing in an inappropriate manner to looks seductive or flirtatious
  • Being over dramatic 
  • Constantly looking for compliments and approval 
  • Overly insecure and jealous for the people who are popular 
  • Very concerned for the way he/she/they look(s) 
  • Selfish nature
  • Being harsh and immature 
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships 

Causes of Histrionic Personality Disorder 

The exact cause of HPD is not vivid but many researchers have claimed that both learned and inherited factors play a good role in causing this disorder. 

For example, the act of histrionic personality disorder to run in families suggests that a genetic susceptibility for the disorder might be inherited. However, the child of a parent with this disorder might simply be repeating learned behavior.

Along with the aforementioned, parenting is also very crucial in deciding whether or not the child will inflict this disorder. The way children are brought up affect their personalities and how is mentioned below:

  • Lack of punishment or constructive criticism in the development stages
  • Loads of pampering and attention all of the time 
  • Rewards and gifts only when a child behaved in a particular manner

These factors push the child into being confused about which behaviour would be suitable for a situation. 

Treatment for HPD

Looking at the symptoms, the doctor will most probably initiate an evaluation by getting to know the complete Medical history and physical examination. 

If the doctor finds no proof from the physical examination then they’ll refer the patient to the psychiatry department. 

Usually, an HPD patient will never accept that they have a disorder, instead they’ll fake their emotions and even add miss conceptions in the psychiatrist’s mind to try and manipulate them from thinking about their diagnosis. 

But when things go downhill, they’ll generally seek help if their relationships fail or things get stressful for them. 


HPD is ideally treated by psychotherapy. 

The main aim of this treatment is to help the person uncover or find the motivation and overcome fears that they possess regarding their attention seeking behaviour. 

It also includes helping the patient to get to understand other people’s emotions better. 

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.


For a person having Histrionic Personality disorder, they might also have depression or anxiety due to their traits and therefore medications like anti-anxiety pills and anti-depressants can be used to treat the above-mentioned. 

Is the person quirky or has Histrionic Personality Disorder?

In pieces of fiction, we often see characters whose self-esteem is dependent upon the approval of others, characters with the overwhelming desire to be noticed with an ostentatious personality. Believe it or not, these are actually common symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). 

HPD is a mental health condition that affects the way an individual thinks, perceives and relates to others. Genes play a role in the development of HPD and abuse or instability during childhood also may result in increased risk. 

A person with this disorder might seek constant attention, talk theatrically with strong opinions, be easily influenced, have rapidly changing emotions, and perceive relationships to be closer than they are. Sound familiar? 

This might be because we can relate these characteristics closely to some of our all-time favorite movie characters or perhaps even people that we know in real life.

Movies characters exhibiting histrionic personality disorder

Characters in cinema have always harbored the human nature of life, and that includes the unpleasant disorders that come with it. It can be hard to identify in many cases because one can be a highly functioning and productive member of society but still cross paths with HPD.

A list of characters that displayed HPD:

Regina George the Resident Mean Girl

Regina George, the rich and popular queen bee of North Shore High loved by many over the course of a decade. Played by Rachel McAdams, the character of Regina is obsessed with her appearance and reputation. She has a dire need to always be the center of attention, be it wearing the most flamboyant outfits to school or talking about people behind their backs. 

Regina is a serial sabotager, always pitting her friends against one another and making her peers feel inferior. She has serious insecurities and body image issues which constantly threaten her social as well as school life. 

Regina George most definitely exhibits traits of HPD, and a proper diagnosis and therapy might be in her best interests.

The Curious Case of Harleen Quinzel

Harleen Quinzel, more popularly known as Harley Quinn from the DC cinematic universe. A certified psychiatrist who threw herself in a life of crime by getting involved with the infamous Joker. 

Harley worked at the Arkham Asylum where she met Joker and instantly fell in love, leading her to breaking him out of the institution. She will do anything for the Joker’s approval, including jumping in an acid vat to look like him. 

Quinn is known to be dramatic, seductive, and sensitive with the innate need for validation and reassurance. All these symptoms definitely point towards HPD. Harley is convinced to be in love with the Joker but unfortunately for her he could care less. 

She is in constant denial of his lack of interest towards her and seems to be in delusion of their “relationship”. Harleen is the prime example of the fact that even those of us who devote our life to understanding the human psyche are prone to personality disorders.

The Histrionics of Scarlett O’Hara

An acclaimed character in cinematic history, Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With The Wind, played by Vivien Leigh, exudes dramatism. She thrives to be the center of attention and uses her appearance to draw heed, something she feels entitled to. 

Her animated outfits which include a dress made of curtains or an old corset coupled with her exuberance also give lead to such diagnosis. O’Hara uses exaggerated language and actions to get her point across and displays a fear of abandonment towards everyone around her. 

With multiple suitors pining over her, she only pays attention to Ashley who seems to be the apple of her eye. Although people in the 1930s didn’t pay much mind to Scarlett’s antics, in the twenty-first century she sure deserves a second look.

The Bold Blanche DuBois

So long as we’re talking about classics, another famous persona is that of Blanche DuBois from the Streetcar Named Desire. 

First featured in the play written by Tennessee Williams, and then subsequently in the movie, Blanche is an aging Southern belle often remarked as a tragic hero. Despite being penniless and homeless, she carries the attitude of a wealthy woman. 

DuBois lives in a perpetual panic about her fading beauty and how others perceive the way she looks. She is deeply insecure when we look past her veneer of sexual propriety and social snobbery, she is nervous by nature and constantly paces about. 

Blanche tends to feel disappointed if she does not get the attention that she craves. For all her flaws and impudence, Blanche is still adored by the audience, for she is just a woman trying to make the most of her circumstances in a deeply patriarchal society. 

Perhaps another reason for this can be HPD, with her theatrical façade and history of mishappenings, Blanche DuBois might be suffering from the disorder.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Characters with Histrionic Personality Disorder

What are the three symptoms of Histrionic Personality? 

Symptoms of Histrionic Personality can include : 

  • Manipulating others to get to be the centre of attention
  • Odd and upset mood when not given attention
  • Quickly changing emotions 
  • Dressing in an inappropriate manner to looks seductive or flirtatious
  • Being over dramatic 

Do histrionics have empathy? 

It is not certain, but people having HPD lack the emotions to understand others and hence have a hard time to gain empathy towards people.

Are histrionics manipulative? 

Yes, they often manipulate others in order to get their attention or become the centre of crowd. 

Can medications treat HPD? 

No, medications can only treat some of its symptoms like depression or anxiety but not the whole disorder. 

Do histrionics get angry? 

Histrionics have a higher tendency to get angry if things don’t go the way they want to, and when they do not get enough attention or approval from others resulting them to have a lot of tantrums and outbursts. 

What is cluster B personality? 

Cluster B personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, overly emotional or unpredictable thinking or behavior. 


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