How I Found Self-Awareness in My Histrionic Personality Disorder

In December of 2015, I was diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder (HPD) at a 30-day addiction treatment center and really didn’t understand how the symptoms correlated with me (common amongst cluster b personality disorders).

During a one-on-one weekly session, the treatment center’s psychologist started explaining histrionic personality disorder to me. He followed his explanation up with a string of questions on what I would do in certain situations, what staff/counselors have witnessed and documented me doing that raised concern, and my own opinion in regards to the soft diagnosis.

I could relate to most if not all he was saying, but can’t we all? I felt like he was taking a major jab at my personality and was just grasping at straws… like the rest of the world was perfect.

I left that session infuriated, insulted, confused and ready to leave the facility AMA (against medical advice).

After being discharged, I couldn’t wait to have access to the internet so I could gain more knowledge on HPD.

After countless amounts of research I gained a deeper understanding of the disorder, but still found it odd that a doctor can diagnose someone with a personality disorder because they have a few quirks that make them unique. I didn’t feel like my persona did any harm in my life and justified that with the many compliments and obvious envy I received from peers throughout life.

I shrugged off the diagnosis at the time. However, a year later, I could no longer be in denial.

I was unintentionally triggered into awareness.

It was like a slap in the face from the truth after I mentioned to my mother how inappropriately short a family member’s shorts were at a family function. She replied: “You use to wear even shorter shorts than that! Don’t you remember the scantily clad dress you wore to mass on Easter Sunday? *Chuckles* Glad you came back to your senses…”

I couldn’t deny that fact and immediately became disgusted with myself. Suppressed memories of my youth to present day kept replaying over and over in my head. I couldn’t stop analyzing my past and seeing how it so obviously mirrored HPD traits. I was embarrassed by my ignorance and fell into a depressive state, which I eventually came out of months later.

Now that I have “the answer” to why I act the way the way I do, I often feel less confident in my actions because I’m now aware they are influenced by HPD. I sometimes feel like life was better living in denial, however deep down I know self-awareness is like “taking the road less traveled by” and can only reap better self-care and a more authentic lifestyle.

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