Histrionic and Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms

Personality disorders exist as aberrations in thought and behavior that deviate from normal societal and/or cultural norms. In effect, someone with a personality disorder has a skewed perception of self and others. According to the Mayo Clinic, people affected by personality disorders usually have trouble relating or interacting with others in everyday situations.

In total, there are 10 distinct personality disorder types, each of which falls in one of three categories or clusters. Histrionic and narcissistic personality disorders belong to the Cluster B category, which includes:

  • Borderline personality
  • Antisocial personality
  • Narcissistic personality
  • Histrionic personality

Dramatic behavior displays and chaotic lifestyles best characterize Cluster B-type personality disorders. Each of the four Cluster B types differs in how a person interacts with others and the motivations behind his or her actions. In effect, histrionic and narcissistic disorders represent two very different models of behavior, though both incorporate dramatic and/or chaotic-like characteristics.

Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder

personality disorder

Those with narcissistic personality disorder are extremely self-centered.

The very definition of the word histrionic describes a dramatic, theatrical-type of behavior. People displaying symptoms of histrionic personality disorder engage in dramatic behavior displays as a means for getting attention from others. Ultimately, a histrionic individual bases his or her self worth on the approval of others, which for the most part drives the need for constant attention, according to the University of Maryland.

Symptoms of histrionic disorder include the following:

  • Inappropriate behaviors that may be seductive or provocative in nature
  • Uncomfortable when not the center of attention
  • Extravagant attire that draws attention to a person’s body
  • Craves excitement; easily becomes bored with a daily routine
  • Shallow, exaggerated emotional displays

In effect, these symptoms make it difficult for a person to form genuine relationships with others. The constant need for attention also drives histrionic individuals to employ controlling or manipulative tactics when things aren’t going their way.

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The word narcissism originates from Greek mythology, which depicts the god Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection. In a similar vein, people affected by narcissistic personality disorder approach everyday life from a self-centered perspective, according to Appalachian State University. In effect, a person’s interactions with others as well as his or her intentions and motivations all work towards a self-serving purpose.

Symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder include:

  • Little to no empathy for others feelings and concerns
  • Assumes others will agree with his or her choices and beliefs
  • Easily exploits others for personal gain, especially loved ones
  • Arrogant disposition to the point where a person will hold deep resentments towards other people’s accomplishments
  • Inflated sense of self-importance that likely hides deep-rooted feelings of inadequacy
  • Sense of superiority and entitlement
  • Ongoing need for affirmation and/or admiration
  • Delusions of grandeur; a self-perceived potential for unlimited success

Overall, both histrionic and narcissistic personality disorders make it difficult for those affected to interact with others in areas of family, friends and work. Likewise, perceptions regarding self limit their ability to reach desired goals in life.


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