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7 Celebrities That Might Have Histrionic Personality Disorder Symptoms and Supposed Sufferers

There are a wide variety of personality disorders which can affect the way an individual thinks and acts. In some cases, personality disorders have symptoms so severe that they affect the quality of life for the individual affected. Other times, personality disorders can be subtle and only recognized by a highly trained psychological or psychiatric professional. One type of personality disorder which is often undiagnosed is Histrionic Personality Disorder.

Histrionic Personality Disorder is characterized by behaviors that exhibit an extreme need for attention and admiration. This disorder often manifests in behavioral traits where the individual will engage in behavior to seek attention or display a disproportionate emotional behavior such as being overly romantic or intimate with others. Some of the qualities associated with Histrionic Personality disorder are:

  • Dressing or behaving in an overtly sexual manner
  • Obsessively focusing on outward or physical appearance
  • Dramatic responses or unwarranted displays of emotion
  • An extreme need for approval from others on appearance and achievements
  • Desperate need for instant gratification
  • Inability to cope with any form of criticism
  • Behavior that is attention-seeking or selfish

In many cases, individuals living with Histrionic personality disorder seem to others to just be a bit dramatic or narcissistic. They may seem to be overly sensitive, responding to even the smallest event with a dramatic flair of emotion by sobbing hysterically or becoming enraged easily. In relationships, these individuals tend to become overly passionate, declaring their emotional connection early on. They may also move from relationship to relationship quickly, declaring their love for their partner in mere days or weeks. Treatment options for Histrionic Personality disorder can include medication and psychotherapy, both of which should be administered by a licensed professional.

As with all forms of mental illness, personality disorders do not discriminate. Celebrities, politicians, and musicians are at risk for developing any form of mental illness. In fact, many celebrities have been thought to have suffered from Histrionic Personality Disorder due to their behaviors in an attempt to gain fame, fortune, and fandom. Here are seven celebrities thought to suffer from Histrionic Personality Disorder.

Anna Nicole Smith – Model and actress

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith is most recognized for her brief career as a Playboy model. Following her career, Anna Nicole married billionaire J. Howard Marshall, at 26 years of age. Anna Nicole is known for her provocative style of dressing and flairs of emotion. During her brief reality show, fans witnessed her explosive emotional displays and obsessive nature for her physical appearance. Many professional psychiatrists have stated that Anna Nicole is a classic example of someone suffering from Histrionic Personality disorder. Anna Nicole died at age 39 of an overdose.

Courtney Love – Actress and Songwriter

Courtney Love

Love is known for her appearances in several movies throughout the early 80’s. Following her brief acting career, Love became involved with the popular alternative rock band, Hole, finding success among the ‘grunge age’ in music. However, very few individuals realize that Love’s famous struggle with addiction was derived from attention-seeking behaviors. Love is said to have attempted suicide multiple times following announcements made to those closest to her. Love’s outrageous behavior, including her tumultuous marriage to rock singer Kurt Cobain, kept her in the limelight for several years.

Richard Simmons – Fitness Guru

Richard Simmons

Richard Simmons is known for his extremely outgoing and invigorating workout videos and routines. His flair for fitness and fashion suggest behaviors associated with Histrionic Personality Disorder. Simmons is known for his attention-seeking behaviors in public events, using his humor and loud voice to become the center for whatever event he is appearing at. Simmons is thought to be a prime example of the disorder when symptoms do not cause a severe alteration from daily life.

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Kim Kardashian – Reality Television Star

Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian is famous for her seductive and revealing photos on favorite social media websites. She has been a popular target for many high-profile celebrity talk shows and gossip columns. Including her leaked sex-tape, Kim has personally taken and published risqué photos numerous times, giving hints to a subtle manifestation of histrionic personality disorder.

Kanye West – Singer, and Songwriter

Kanye West

Kanye is the famous on-again, off-again love attraction for Kim Kardashian. His shocking behavior, such as leaping onto a stage to steal the spotlight, and his overly dramatic relationship with Kim lead many to believe he is also a candidate for Histrionic Personality disorder. Kanye is also known for his lavish style, including multiple large gold chains and expensive watches. His concern for his appearance is another quality that leads professionals to suggest he suffers from the disorder.

Miley Cyrus – Actress, Singer and Songwriter

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus began her career as a child Disney star in the popular series, Hannah Montana. Following her childhood career, Miley began engaging in outlandish behavior akin to characteristics of histrionic personality disorder. Her seductive style and her borderline vulgar appearances in commercials indicate a severe need for being the center of attention.

Farrah Abraham – Reality Television Star

Farrah Abraham

First appearing on MTV’s popular documentary series 16 and Pregnant, Farrah demonstrated an explosive emotional state, often engaging in violent screaming matches with her mother. Following the birth of her daughter, Abraham was part of a sex-tape scandal that launched her into the center of many heated debates. Since then, Abraham has engaged in behaviors that suggest a deeply rooted past in Histrionic Personality disorder. Her provocative manner of dressing, revealing Instagram photos and numerous business adventures all lead to the assumption that she is struggling with a severe case of the disorder.

While these celebrities may exhibit behavior that indicates a struggle with Histrionic Personality disorder, only a professional psychologist or psychiatrist can offer an accurate diagnosis. In many cases, this disorder will seemingly be no problem for the individual, manifesting in ways that only seem slightly annoying rather than dangerous. In other cases, the need for attention and approval from others can be so severe that it jeopardizes the quality of life and in extreme circumstances, pushes the individual towards attempts at suicide, which can be fatal.

Although, it is possible that these individuals simply enjoy being in the spotlight and use whatever available option to ensure their fame and fortune are not short-lived. In some circles, their behavior may be a marketing ploy to maintain their wealth and status.

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Angela Sartain, PhD Psychology
Angela Sartain, PhD Psychology

Angela is currently finishing up her doctoral degree program in General Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and crafting crochet dolls for her small business.

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