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Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question
Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10564
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I dated a girl that matched alot of traits with HPD. I want

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I dated a girl that matched alot of traits with HPD. I want to help her out. What can I do?

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I am sorry that you believe this girl you dated has Histrionic Personality Disorder, may I ask why you believe that she has this disorder?

DoctorZ :

And also you mentioned that you dated this girl, are you currently dating her or was this a relationship in the past?

DoctorZ :

So while most individuals with HPD do not actively seek therapy, but if you are currently dating this woman than you can suggest couples counseling where this personality disorder will be addressed.

DoctorZ :

A way to phrase couple counseling would be to focus on how you both need psychological help to make the relationship work because it seems like you have internal unresolved issues. You can also try to put more blame on yourself as well because individuals with HPD are usually sensitive to any perceived criticism

DoctorZ :

If you tell her directly that you believe she has HPD, then she could misinterpret this and exaggerated that you thinks she "crazy." So this is why I think couples counseling would be your best bet.

DoctorZ :

Usually psychotherapy involving Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) work well for individuals with this type of disorder because it focuses on changing their thought patterns to help lessen their symptoms.

DoctorZ :

Also medication, such as an antidepressant may be warranted to help lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety that are often associated with a disorder of HPD

DoctorZ :

I see that you are offline right now, but when you get back online I would be very interested in continuing this discussion with you and talking about anything further you would like to share regarding your concern, so if you respond in the chat box I will be able to get back to you as soon as possible.

Customer:

thanks. well we are still talking and hanging out. she has a very outgoing personality and a.big heart. she does fine in her work place and has a good career. but when she is around a big group of people she is a totally different person...very loud and very flirty. when

Customer:

when i genuinly confront her about it i get denial or i "misinterpreted" her actions. i dont know what to do even when i calmly ask about her actions and tell her i felt disrepected.

DoctorZ :

So she does not have good insight on her behavior and how it appears to others, that will make it difficult for her to get treatment unfortunately

DoctorZ :

Have others ever told her about her behavior when she is around a large group of people?

Customer:

yes her friends have brought it up because they were concerned. i know her parents never really disiplined her so maybe she doesnt realize. im just trying to help her out because she is very sensitive to criticism.

DoctorZ :

Yeah the sensitivity is apart of HPD. Since she does not seem to think that her behavior is a problem, as she has denied it and said that you were the one misinterpreting, it would be hard for her to change her behavior. One thing that may help her understand is if you reverse roles and put herself in your shoes. It is a therapeutic technique we to help other understand what the situation meant to them and to teach empathy.

DoctorZ :

So you would ask her "would you like it if I flirted with that girl over there...and so on"

Customer:

okay i will try that thanks alot! it is much appreciated!

DoctorZ :

To be honest with her level of denial and content with her current behavior, she may never be able to break from this behavior without psychotherapy though

DoctorZ :

I am always happy to help. Is there anything else I can do to assist you tonight?

Customer:

yes how would i or what is the best way to go about getting treatment if it the reverse roles doesnt help?

DoctorZ :

Well she cannot be forced to go to treatment, she would have to go voluntarily. Now you mentioned that some of her friends are concerned about her behavior, so you can have them with you as support and a hold a small informal intervention to express their concerns for her, but never blame her for anything. Just keep noting that you are concerned and that you feel therapy would benefit her, then go on to describe how therapy helps a wide range of people just by having an ally there to talk to (this can lessen any impact that she feels you are judging her).

DoctorZ :

Getting her to treatment will be difficult though because she does not believe anything is wrong with her and she is quite happy with her behavior, but this is the best approach to confront her and help her to have an open mind towards treatment

Customer:

okay thank you very much that is all i have for now.

DoctorZ :

Okay well if you have any future questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at anytime. I want to wish your friend that best of luck with everything

DoctorZ :

I hope I provided you with excellent service tonight

Customer:

yes thank you!

DoctorZ :

Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

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