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What is the Difference Between Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder

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This video describes difference between borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder are in cluster B of the personality disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). Cluster B is the dramatic, emotional, and erratic cluster. With Histrionic Personality Disorder, we see there are eight symptom criteria and at least five are required for a diagnosis: being uncomfortable when one is not the center of attention, inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior, rapidly shifting and shallow emotions, using one's physical appearance to draw attention, an excessively impressionistic style of speech that tends to lack detail, an exaggerated expression of emotions, being suggestible, and regarding relationships as more intimate than they really are. With borderline personality disorder, we see there are nine symptom criteria, but again five or more are required for a diagnosis: making frantic efforts to avoid abandonment, having an unstable relationship cycle (this is a cycle of idealization and devaluation), identity disturbance, impulsivity, suicidal behavior, affective instability, a feeling of emptiness, constant anger, and paranoid ideation or dissociative symptoms. When looking at the similarities between these two disorders, we can see there are quite a few they share in many cases: the rapidly shifting emotions, the strong emotional expressions, the attention-seeking behavior, impulsivity, and the tendency to be manipulative. Characteristics we would expect to see with borderline personality disorder in many cases, but not see with histrionic would include: anger, feelings of emptiness, self-destructive behavior, and the identity disturbance. Characteristics we would expect to see with histrionic personality disorder and not often see with borderline personality disorder would include: being suggestible, impressionistic style of speech, and inappropriate sexually seductive and provocative behavior. Adding to the difficulty in differentiating these two disorders is the fact that they are comorbid about 10 to 15% of time. There are also other factors to consider when trying to differentiate these two diagnoses. One is the debate over whether histrionic personality disorder a distinct set of symptoms or just a variant of borderline personality disorder. There are many researchers in the mental health treatment community that believe that histrionic is a variant and should not be a separate diagnosis. I think this belief actually has an effect on how mental health disorders are diagnosed. I think there's this tendency to overlook histrionic personality disorder and to diagnose borderline personality disorder. There's more information available about borderline personality disorder than histrionic in terms of the course of the disorder, treatment, and in the number of articles written about borderline personality disorder. There are a lot of reasons why a clinician may be biased to diagnose borderline personality disorder. This bias wouldn't have to be deliberate, but rather this could be an unconscious bias.

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