ADHD Comorbidities & Related Conditions

[Self-Test] Histrionic Personality Disorder

Take this histrionic personality disorder test to see if you may be showing signs of the DSM-5 symptoms and accompanying features of this Cluster B personality disorder. Share your results with a licensed mental health professional.

Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is characterized by persistent patterns of excessive emotionality and attention-seeking behaviors.1 People with HPD feel uncomfortable or unappreciated when they are not the center of attention, and they may go to great lengths — like inventing stories, creating a dramatic scene, and/or making inappropriate advances — to get the attention they crave.

People with HPD may display over-the-top, exaggerated emotional and behavioral responses to minor situations, often to the great discomfort of those around them. What’s more, they often exhibit rapidly shifting emotions. People with HPD are typically overly concerned with impressing others, especially by physical appearance, and they tend to be highly suggestible.

HPD occurs in less than 1% of the population2, and is one of four Cluster B personality disorders, which include borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. These personality disorders are characterized by dramatic, emotional, and unpredictable behaviors.

As far as the co-occurrence of HPD and ADHD, one 2007 study of adults with ADHD found that around 35% of subjects met criteria for HPD.3 But these results should be explored more, since many symptoms of ADHD and HPD are shared, which may lead to diagnostic errors and improper differential diagnosis.

If you suspect that you have symptoms of HPD, answer the questions below and share the results with a licensed mental health professional who is experienced in diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders.

This self-test was adapted from the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire Fourth Edition Plus (PDQ-4), the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) and from criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). It is designed to screen for the possibility of HPD, and it is for personal use only. This test is not intended as a diagnostic tool. Only a licensed mental health professional can diagnose HPD.

People accuse me of faking my emotions and feelings.

I feel uncomfortable and upset when people don’t pay attention to me.

I tend to act on impulse and seek instant gratification.

My emotional reactions are stronger and more exaggerated than those of most people I know.

I'm told that I “fish for compliments” about my physical appearance.

I do not like to stick to a routine. I crave novelty and excitement.

I often and easily change my opinions based on what others say and do.

I am accused of being too provocative and/or acting in inappropriate, sexually suggestive manners.

I find myself fabricating, exaggerating, or embellishing stories to make myself and/or my stories seem more interesting to others.

I typically take relationships more seriously than do my partners.

I take pride in my physical appearance and spend lots of time and energy on clothes and grooming.

I’m told that I have a flair for the dramatic.


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Histrionic Personality Disorder: Next Steps

View Article Sources

1American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Histrionic personality disorder. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.)

2Jacob, C. P., Gross-Lesch, S., Reichert, S., Geissler, J., Jans, T., Kittel-Schneider, S., Nguyen, T. T., Romanos, M., Reif, A., Dempfle, A., & Lesch, K.-P. (2016). Sex- and Subtype-Related Differences of Personality Disorders (Axis II) and Personality Traits in Persistent ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 20(12), 1056–1065. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054714521293

3Jacob, C. P., Romanos, J., Dempfle, A., Heine, M., Windemuth-Kieselbach, C., Kruse, A., Reif, A., Walitza, S., Romanos, M., Strobel, A., Brocke, B., Schäfer, H., Schmidtke, A., Böning, J., & Lesch, K. P. (2007). Co-morbidity of adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with focus on personality traits and related disorders in a tertiary referral center. European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience, 257(6), 309–317. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00406-007-0722-6

4 Volkert, J., Gablonski, T., & Rabung, S. (2018). Prevalence of personality disorders in the general adult population in Western countries: Systematic review and meta-analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 213(6), 709-715. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.2018.202

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