Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD): Overview and Issues

Uploaded 5/7/2023, approx. 40 minute read

We all know them. They are the life of the party. They hug everyone in sight. They gush over the smallest trifles. They are quaffered and manicured and every cured. They are dressed provocatively. They maintain eye contact longer than is socially appropriate and they signal an ooze sexuality.

These are the histrionics.

Today's topic - an introduction to histrionic personality disorder drawing on the latest bleeding edge research.

My name is Sam Vaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited and I'm a former visiting professor of psychology.

Let's delve right into the histrionic.

It's something many men would like to do.

Let me reassure you.

Most people, and I'm saying people because in theory men can be diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder, but most patients with histrionic personality disorder are, that's a fact, still women.

This immediately raises the question. Is this a real clinical entity? Is this a mental health disorder or is it a culture-bound syndrome which reflects the values of a patriarchal and misogynistic society?

You see, a man who behaves like a histrionic woman is bound to be admired as a macho or a stud. At worst, he may be labeled a womanizer, but he's going to escape. He's going to escape unscathed. He's very unlikely to be diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder.

Similar traits, identical behaviors. One is a histrionic slut and the other is a non-histrionic stud. The only difference is of course genitalia.

Still, I personally do believe that there is such a thing as a histrionic personality organization or histrionic personality structure. I just think that it is the confluence of some elements of psychopathy, some elements of borderline and many, many elements of narcissism.

Let's resemble narcissism. Both types seek attention compulsively. Both of them are markedly dysphoric and uncomfortable when they are not the life of the party, when they are not the center of attention, when not everything revolves around them. They feel bad, they feel down and they feel compelled to regain the high ground and the limelight. They have to be the life of the party. They have to be the center of attention or else if they fail in achieving this pivotal role, they act out. They create hysterical scenes. They confabulate anything to draw attention. Yes, attention is the key to understanding the histrionic.

Like the somatic narcissist, the histrionic is preoccupied with physical appearance, sexual conquests, her health, her body.

The typical histrionic spends huge dollops of money and expands inordinate amounts of time on grooming and titivating and plastic surgeries and worse.

Histrionics fish for compliments and are upset when they are confronted with criticism or with proof that they are not as young, they are not as glamorous, they are not as alluring and they are not as beautiful as they consider themselves to be.

Unlike narcissists though, histrionics are genuine, much more genuine. They are not really fake as they are commonly perceived or mispeal. They are genuinely enthusiastic, they are really open, they are emotional, they are warm, they are empathic. They are empathic up to the point of actually being more than sentimental, luck remotes. They are dramatic and people conflate and confuse the histrionic drama with the borderline drama. The borderline drama is much more manipulative and reactive than the histrionics drama.

Histrionics drama reflects her inability to actually experience emotions except by expressing them, except by converting them into a spectacle. The borderline is overwhelmed by internal tsunamis of emotions. She drowns in her emotions and this is called emotional dysregulation.

The histrionic actually does not experience emotions unless she play acts the emotions, unless she acts the emotions out.

It is by visual, by externalizing the emotions, it is by converting the emotions into a theater play or a spectacle. Ither emotions with drama that the histrionic actually comes to experience them.

Histrionics also strive to fit in, mingle, blend and become a part of groups, collectives and social institutions. The histrionic woman doesn't like sex at all.

That's the irony. Histrionics are actually terrified of men.

What they do is they convert in their own minds, they convert the men's inevitable aggression into sexual attraction.

It's as if the histrionic woman is saying to herself, "I have two options here. I can get raped and beaten up badly or I can collude in having sex with these men. Let me transform, let me sublimate, let me convert his aggression into a sexual drive or a sexual impulse.

So the histrionic woman has sex with men as a way to secure their goodwill, as a way to prevent aggression, as a way to forestall violence.

Histrionics in reality are actually frigid. They like the power that their sexuality gives them over men.

So they like to use sexuality to manipulate men, to control men and so on so forth. So they are teasers.

They like to tease.

But when the man is hers, mission accomplished, when she had conquered, mustered and subjugated the men, the histrionic loses all interest in the men. She begins to pay sexual attention to other men.

But afraid of the men's reactions, should she just dump them, tease them and dump them, afraid of the men's reactions, she often ends up having unwanted sex.

The histrionic reframes her extinguished fling, her discarded lover and the now dead relationship or infatuation, instead of a much desired paramour, he is now just a good friend, a sadistic enemy or a much needed interlude.

When in the throes of chasing a man, when she is busy, signalling unbridled, uncontrolled sexuality, when she bathes the men, drowns the men in sexual signaling, the histrionic misjudges the men's reactions. She believes that the man is falling in love with her. She develops a fantasy which is not shared, but resembles very much the narcissist shared fantasy.

In her mind, the man is infatuated and there is a level of intimacy which pervades and permeates the budding relationship.

When none of this is true, the histrionic relationships take place almost entirely in her mind. She is utterly delusional. There is no intimacy in the majority of cases, just sexual voraciousness and the wish to reciprocate the histrionic signals.

Histrionic sexualize everyone and they sexualize everything and they sexualize each and every situation. They constantly act flirtatious, provocative and seductive even when such behavior is not warranted by circumstances or worse still is prescribed and is considered highly inappropriate socially speaking.

So, a histrionic would be hyper sexualized in a professional setting, in an occupational setting, even in a funeral and such conduct is ill received. People feel ill at ease around the histrionic.

Many of them consider histrionics to be fake and pretentious when this is not the case as I've said. People usually find the unabashed directness, undisguised hunger for approval, inappropriate physical contact. They find all this annoying or even outright repulsive and consequently histrionics are sometimes subject to social censure, ostracism, they're shunned and avoided.

The histrionic leverages the libidinous excess and overt emotionality in order to gain attention. She craves attention. She's an attention junkie.

The histrionics intensity, the histrionics unpredictability, the histrionics clinging neediness, constant demanding, the histrionics persistence, they're all very exhausting.

The histrionics nearest and dearest are often embarrassed by her unbridled display of emotions. She hugs casual acquaintances, uncontrollable sobbing in public or having temper tantrums. The histrionics behavior is so off color that she's typically accused of faking it as I said.

I wrote the entry on histrionic personality disorder in the open sight in Cyclopigia and this is what I had to say.

As the histrionic depletes one source of supply after another, she glides from one relationship to the next, experiencing a range of shallow feelings and commitments in the process.

This shallowness is reflected in the histrionic speech which is impressionistic, disjointed in general.

Concerned only with the latest conquest, the histrionic uses her physical appearance and attire as a kind of conscious bait.

She baits people.

It is ironic that histrionics often mistake the depth, durability and intimacy of their relationships and they're devastated by their inevitable premature determination.

Histrionics are the quintessential drama queens. They are theatrical, their emotions are exaggerated to the point of caricature. Their gestures are sweeping, disproportional and inappropriate.

The histrionic is easily suggestible. She responds instantly and fully to the slightest change in circumstances and to the most meaningless communication or behavior of others.

Histrionics are very gullible. They adopt your opinions as theirs.

Histrionics are early adopters and closely adhere to the latest facts and fashions.

Now, Theodore Millon suggested that there are six types of histrionics.

The appeasing histrionics is dependent, compulsive. So she seeks to placate, mend, patch up, smooth over troubles.

She has a knack for settling differences, moderating tempers by yielding, compromising, conceding. She sacrifices herself for commendation, fruitlessly placates the unplacable.

This is the appeasing type.

The vivacious type of histrionic has no cyclothymic features. She is vigorous, charming, bubbly, brisk, spirited, flippant, impulsive. She seeks momentary cheerfulness and playful adventures. She is animated, energetic and imbalanced.

The tempestuous histrionic has negativistic features. She is impulsive. She is out of control. She is moody, complains, sulks. She has precipitous emotion, stormy, impassioned, easily water, periodically inflamed and turbulent.

Then there is the disingenuous histrionic. She has antisocial features. She is underhanded, double-dealing, skimming, conniving, contriving, plodding, crafty, false-hearted, egocentric, insincere, deceitful, calculating and guileful, in short, the perfect mate.

Then you have the theatrical histrionic, variant of the pure histrionic, affected, mannered, put on, postures a striking, eye-catching graphic.

Marketers, her self-appearance, synthesized, staging, simulates desirable, dramatic poses.

And finally, there is the infantile histrionic, who has borderline features. She is labile, high-strung, volatile emotions, childlike hysteria and nascent pouting, demanding, overwrought, fastens and clutches to another, is overtly and overly attached, hangs on, stays fused to and clinging to a perceived, or misperceived actually, intimate partner.

So this is the introduction to histrionic personality disorder. And I strongly recommend that you watch this video to its very long end, because I'm going to study phenomena connected to histrionic personality disorder.

For example, the hunger for attention, interactions with men when the histrionic is a woman, and other phenomena which have to do with introjection, the voices inside the histrionic. These are issues which are rarely tackled on YouTube and even in scholarly literature.

So bear with me. You don't have to gulp the entire video in one go. It's divided in parts, but it's an overall picture of histrionic personality disorder, the likes of which I couldn't find online.

Stay tuned and enjoy the ride.

I'm a traditionalist, so let us begin with the tradition.

My name is Sam Vaknin and I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, as though you didn't know.

Today I will be discussing attention boards.

Attention boards come in both genders.

Both women and men can be attention boards, but the literature, scholarly literature, indicates the majority of attention boards, women with histrionic and borderline personality disorders, the majority of these people are women.

So I'm going to use the feminine gender pronouns throughout this text, but bear in mind, bear in mind, there are men who are attention boards.

Everything I say applies to these men as well.

Not to make the text cumbersome, I will limit myself to women.

Some women, single and married, use male attention to regulate their sense of self-worth. When their self-confidence and self-esteem is at a low ebb when they feel a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence, these so-called attention boards become flirtatious, seductive. They cochrease and they trade sex for even the most inconsequential signs of attention from a man.

It could be a chat, it could be a compliment, it could be small gifts, flowers, a bouquet, or a meal at a restaurant. It's good enough.

Even if the attention they get is vulgar and demeaning, even if they are, for example, groped in public or fondled in public, or if they are the targets of lewd, loud, explicit so-called compliments, these women would still prefer it to being ignored.

These women say bad or wrong kind of attention is far better than no attention at all.

Male attention serves a few important psychodynamic functions with these women.

And remember, it applies to men as well.

First of all, the attention that these women get from men reassures the woman of her irresistibility and attractiveness. A woman who is rejected, neglected, abandoned, humiliated, and ignored by their intimate partner, this kind of woman feels compelled to restore her badly eroded self-image.

So what she does, she conducts a pull among other men. She offers her body in exchange for an erectile affirmation, a vote of fluids that she is still irresistibly desirable.

Another function is reasserting control and power of a man via her sex. Such a woman as wages her anxiety, ameliorates her anxiety, reduces it, because she assumes that men are misogynistic and hostile and aggressive. She is afraid of men.

She actually, in the background, hates men. But above all, she is terrified of them. She is afraid of them.

So what she does, she tames men with her body and that makes her feel safe and reduces her anxiety.

And then, of course, some women are adrenaline junkies. Illicit affairs, cheating, deception, risky and reckless behaviors or situations are all perceived by such a woman as thrilling, breathless adventures which alleviate the tedium of daily life.

This kind of woman is compulsively deceptive. She engages in compulsive cheating. She is addicted to it, actually.

Many of these women sexualize frustration. They act out. Their impulse control is impaired. We will talk about it a bit later. They use addictive sex and compulsive habitual cheating to avenge themselves. It is a form of revenge.

And then there is the issue of unsatened hunger for intimacy and a semblance of emotion. Such hunger is overpowering.

A woman who lacks intimacy in her primary relationship, a woman who doesn't get sex, doesn't get love, doesn't get warmth, doesn't get protection. Such a woman will sometimes provide access to her body in return for even the feigned and fake versions of what she creates.

And finally, some women break all boundaries in a feast of unbridled promiscuity. And this is a form of masochistic self-punishment, self-annihilation. It's an affirmation of the woman's deeply ingrained inner critic, the voices, the superego, that constantly judge her and criticize her and demean her and humiliate her.

So to affirm these voices, to agree with them in order to reduce the inner conflict and the anxiety, to create a kind of truce or ceasefire with these voices, what she does, she becomes a whore. She becomes a bad object. She becomes unworthy of anything better than being pumped and dumped by multiple men.

This way, she kind of makes peace with her inner tribunal, which tells her mercilessly that she is a worthless bad object prostitute.

I call some of these phenomena, I call them Minchausen by Narcissist. These women sometimes seek interactions and relationships with narcissists in order to be victimized by the narcissist and in this way secure attention, commiseration, sympathy and resources from mental health professionals, other victims and survivors online, the community or society, and of course friends and family.

Minchausen by Narcissist is akin to the two other Minchausen syndromes. They are known as factitious disorders and all these are observed mostly among women.

In the classic Minchausen syndrome, the patient feigns physical illnesses or actually hurts herself, damages her body in order to attract the attention and compassion of medical staff.

In Minchausen by Proxy, the patient causes other people, usually her own children, to become gravely ill, for example by poisoning. And this is in order to become the center of attention, pity and admiration of doctors, nurses and spectators.

Many self-styled so-called empaths are actually codependent enablers. There is a difference between being compassionate or empathic and between enabling.

So when these women seek the attention of men, they usually would gravitate towards narcissists because this achieves a double goal.

First of all, it regulates self-esteem and self-confidence as we have discussed. And the second goal is it renders the woman a victim and therefore worthy of compassion, attention, mercy, pity and so on and so forth.

So it's like a two-for-one.

And many of these women self-styled declare themselves to be empaths, but actually they're not. What they are, they are codependent enablers.

And there is a difference between being compassionate and empathic, as I said. Compassion means that you hold a realistic view of your partner, but it refuses to participate in his shared psychosis, in his paranoia, mind games, power plays.

Enabling, on the other hand, means that you aid and abet your significant other. Together with him, you descend into his madness, his personal vedas, his mental pocket glory and his fantasies and ideation.

Compassion is about providing your counterpart with external boundaries, checks and balances, control and a realistic feedback.

Enabling involves fusing and merging with the other, erasing all the boundaries, helping to fend off hurtful reality by becoming delusional jointly.

And you see, this is exactly what happens with attention whores.

They seek attention from men, but they seek it in a way that enables the men.

They become enablers. Together with the men, they create a shared psychosis, where the woman is irresistibly desirable and the men provides her with a thus fake intimacy, love and sex.

And together they create this bubble, this utter fantasy, this movie, which has nothing to do with reality. No wonder most of these so-called relationships end up in heartbreak, shame and guilt.

Most attention whores are impulsive. Impulsive people act first and consider their options later.

Impaired, deficient, lacking or absent impulse control serves important psychological needs in the attention poor.

In some mental health pathologies, cluster B, dramatic personality disorders, mood disorders and other mental health disorders, unfulfilled or suppressed urges, drives and impulses give rise to extreme anxiety and stress.

Instantly catering to these pressing wishes is the only way to alleviate and ameliorate this inexorably mounting inner volcanic pressure.

So the patient feels her needs as something that is kind of magma, kind of lava that fulfills her and drives her into intense and extreme anxiety, bordering I would say on a kind of micropsychotic episode.

And so to alleviate this, to get rid of this anxiety and this increasingly disabling stress, what she does, she acts out, she just acts on it.

So if she has a need to have a man in order to affirm her declining self-esteem, I mean that she would act on it, because as long as she doesn't act with it, she feels less and less and less and less and less comfortable. She feels she is about to lose control, she feels she is about to disintegrate.

And to a large extent it's true that way. She is the compensator.

Following impulsive acts, cheating, spending, shopping, promising, travelling, being cheating, whatever, following these impulsive acts there is an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame.

And this is followed by purging and penitent behaviors, like acting extra nice to the cheated spouse, forced vomiting in the case of bulimia, or working hard to make up for the profligacy.

And these actions, these penitent actions, acts of penitence, they lead to a restoration of inner peace and homeostasis, kind of balance. They are cathartic, the great catharsis, a feeling of having attained a state of clean slate, like everything now is slow white and pure.

You can start anew, it's a new phase, a new stage. I mean you can put everything behind you. What happens there stays there, at least until the next transgression.

But the feeling of catharsis is an almost religious experience.

Impulsivity has another critical function though.

The regulation of the labile, self-esteem, fluctuating self-confidence and one's sense of self-worth via the restoration of grandiosity.

In this sense impulsivity is an aspect or symptom of narcissism.

The cheating spouse, for example, she affirms his irresistibility. The shopaholic affirms her omnipotence and perfection, because he has all the money she needs. The kleptomania affirms, confirms her invisibility, her luck, her cosmic luck, the universe is with her, she's getting away with it.

So the forbidden, risky and illicit nature of most impulsive acts and behaviors only adds to this mystical aura of uniqueness. This magical elevation to a godlike status of invisibility feels like a euphoric high and it is therefore addictive.

This adrenaline rush, I mean waning and boxing of adrenaline, this is addictive.

All impulsive behaviors are addictive.

Residivism is guaranteed. No agreement, no rule, no vow can prevent these behaviors from recurring. It's almost hopeless.

Even in therapy, we find it very difficult to kind of restore control over impulsive behavior.

In dialectical behavioral therapy, this is one of the main aspects, because borderline women with borderline personality disorder lack impulse control.

But the success is usually limited and recurrences and recidivism are very common.

Doctorous hope is these women grow older, most of the signs and symptoms of borderline and histrionic personality disorder recede.

Unfortunately, only to be replaced with dysthymia, background depression, no freemium in mental health, it seems. My name is Stan Baklin and I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Relizative. Women with histrionic personality disorder respond differently to two types of men. The first type, these are men who openly desire the histrionic woman. They are infatuated with her or even, in some instances, actually and truly love her. The histrionic sees herself through their eyes and she likes what she sees. Their gaze defines her, provides her with a sense of identity where there is only a diffuse identity and enhances her self-confidence and self-esteem. She falls in love with herself through them. But after a brief affair or a few encounters with this type of men, they begin to bore the histrionic woman, the irritator, and she begins to devalue them because there is no thrill, no chase, no conquest, hunt or competition involved in the totally predictable relationship. A histrionic woman should limit her contact with such men to a passive role. She should accept their admiration, attention and infatuation but not take it any further because the relationship is doomed. This way she will not create enemies among these men and will be able to dedicate her scarce mental resources to the second type of men which is absolutely her only kind. What is this second type of men? These are men who are visibly attracted to the histrionic and even desire her sexually but are very avoidant emotionally or even absent emotionally. This is the only type of men with whom the histrionic woman can have a long-term relationship. However dysfunctional and painful the interaction may be. Histrionic women abhor intimacy and love. Actually they are not very sexual either. Studies have shown that histrionic women have low sexual drive, low sexual desire and they are not very good at sex. So they don't need sex, they don't need love, they don't need intimacy. What do they need? They need mind games. With these men there is always some game going on. Constant hunting, the adrenaline field ups and downs, competing with other women, conquest and loss etc. When the histrionic woman is in a relationship with such an emotionally unavailable man she should mirror him, she should approach him and avoid him, be he's and not his, provoke his jealousy, vanish and reappear, promise and withhold, give and torture. This kind of conduct will render these men dependent on the histrionic and gratify their sense of control of being the winner of having it all. My name is Sam Bachmann and I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited. Borderline personality disorder is often diagnosed together, is comorbid with other personality disorders. Most commonly histrionic, narcissistic and antisocial or psychopathic. All these four personality disorders form together the cluster B.

So cluster B personality disorders often coexist in the same diagnosed patient. The majority of persons diagnosed with these comorbidities of personality disorders are actually women. Women are predominantly the main segment of the histrionic personality disorder population and of the borderline personality disorder population.

Borderline personality disorder is a post-traumatic state. It is repeatedly triggered in later life by neglect, abandonment, withholding of sex and intimacy, verbal and psychological abuse and by life's circumstances, dangers and chaos.

When borderline personality disorder is comorbid with histrionic personality disorder, such women react by seeking comfort, acceptance, validation, sex and intimacy from other men.

But the comorbidity creates conflicting inner voices in the woman. There are three voices to consider.

Histrionic voice, the antisocial voice or psychopathic voice and the borderline voice.

The histrionic voice in such comorbid women says men will make you feel better, men will help you restore your self-esteem.

The psychopathic or antisocial voice in such a woman says don't feel guilty about cheating, don't feel guilty or bad about being a whore. It is fun. You deserve sex. It is not your fault. No one gets hurt if you keep it a secret.

Go for it. The borderline voice says your sexuality is bad, mad and dangerous. Don't take it too far or it will end calamitously. When such a woman with comorbid histrionic and borderline personality disorder, when such a woman experiences a narcissistic crisis or a narcissistic injury, when such a woman is hurt, humiliated or frustrated, when her femininity is doubted or challenged, her histrionic side forces her to reach out to men in order to make her feel better and to ameliorate her frustration. Such women fling with men. They use men to self-medicate. Men become a kind of anti-anxiety drug. These women restore their self-esteem and self-confidence. They regulate their lebide sense of self-worth by having sex or engaging in sexual acts with other men, with men. These women contact men with the intention of having intimacy in sex with them. When this happens, the antisocial or psychopathic voice of the woman legitimizes her histrionic behavior. It says, as I said, don't feel guilty about chicken. Don't feel guilty about being a whore. There's nothing wrong with it. It is fun. You deserve sex. It is not your fault. No one gets hurt if you keep it a secret and so on and so forth. Go for it. But at that point, the borderline voice interjects. The woman's borderline aspect feels stressed and panics by the sheer prospect of imminent sex.

When she's faced, when the woman is faced with a men's expectation to have sex with her, and when this woman is also faced with her own sexual desire, she freaks out. Sex is perceived as traumatic.

These women perceive sex to be associated with pain and hurt, kind of punishment. The following negative thoughts, negative automatic thoughts, prevail in these women's minds.

Sex is dirty. Men are evil, dangerous, one track-minded. They want only sex, and then they will discard you. Sex inevitably results in pain and hurt.

You should feel guilty about chicken. You should feel ashamed for being so whore-ish, etc., etc.

These sentences, negative automatic sentences, play again and again in the woman's mind, as her histrionic side pushes her to engage in sex with strangers, and her psychopathic side legitimizes this behavior.

So there's a conflict, an inner conflict comprised of two or three conflicting and competing voices.

When faced with a prospect of sex, borderline patience panic because of these negative thoughts. The panic sometimes leads to depersonalization. The woman splits from herself. She enters a kind of paralyzing trance. She goes autopilot. She lapses into a dreamlike or nightmare-like state.

If such a woman crosses the line in his full-fledged state, she experiences dissociation. She forgets certain sexual acts that conflict with her values and boundaries, especially so if she finds them enjoyable.

To be a narcissist is a full-time job. The narcissist needs to secure narcissistic supply on an ongoing basis, exactly like a junkie has to secure his next fix. Without narcissistic supply, the narcissist crumbles. It's a full-time job. It's energy-depleting.

And many narcissists do not have the skills, talents, or qualifications to obtain supply. They are the collapsed narcissists.

And today, I would like to discuss the collapsed narcissist and a new concept I have come up with, the collapsed histrionic.

My name is Sam Vaknin, and I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism, Narcissists, and Religion.

Pathological narcissism is thought to be the result of a prolonged period of severe abuse by primary caregivers, or by peers, or authority figures. In this sense, pathological narcissism is a reaction to trauma. It's a post-traumatic condition.

Narcissism is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder that got ossified and fixated and mutated into a personality disorder. All narcissists are traumatized. All narcissists suffer from a variety of post-traumatic syndromes, such as abandonment anxiety, reckless behaviors, and other anxiety disorders, mood disorders, somatophone disorders, or the image problems, and so on.

But the presenting sides of narcissism rarely indicate post-trauma. This is because pathological narcissism is an efficient coping defense mechanism. It's adaptive.

The narcissist presents to the world a facade of invincibility, equanimity, superiority, skillfulness, cool-headedness, invulnerability, nonchalance, and in short, indifference. This front that the narcissist presents to the world is penetrated in times of great crisis that threaten the narcissist's ability to obtain narcissistic supply. It is also breached and collapses when narcissistic supply is spurious, fake, or low-grade, negative, or static.

And then the narcissist becomes a collapsed narcissist. Many self-help experts online use the term "failed" narcissist, but it's a failed term. It's a mistake. "Failed" narcissist is a term that was invented by Grotstein, a scholar, to describe one of the phases in the development of borderline personalities.

The correct term is "collapsed" narcissist. Collapsed narcissist is very much like the collapsed histrionic. The collapsed histrionic is usually a woman with body image, somato formations, and a low sense of self-worth. Yet, she still needs men, and she uses men to regulate her flagging self-esteem and deficient self-confidence. This creates a permanent dissonance and anti-secretary anxiety as such a woman expects fully to be rejected and humiliated by men.

Low self-esteem often leads to an impaired reality test. A collapsed histrionic misreads environmental, social, and sexual cues. She often ends up being mocked, shunned, abused, or sexually assaulted by men. She compensates for her insecurities with brazen defiance and grandiosity, as well as with substance abuse, alcoholism, all of which compound her ability to properly gauge reality.

The collapsed histrionics' feelings of inferiority and inadequacy lead the collapsed histrionic to social withdrawal and to reclusiveness. She rarely dates men, and when she does, she aggresses against, pushes away, and abuses alpha males, winners, accomplishment, even when they are genuinely interested in her. She engages in pre-emptive abandonment. She dumps them before they dump her.

Instead, the collapsed histrionic picks up safe beta babies, weak ugly losers who are very unlikely to painfully reject them.

Both histrionics and narcissists require a form of narcissistic supply, and when the narcissistic supply is deficient when it's missing, they resort to several adaptive solutions.

The first solution is the delusional narrative solution.

The narcissist or the histrionic construct a narrative in which he figures as the hero, brilliant, perfect, irresistibly handsome, destined for great things, entitled, powerful, wealthy, the center of attention, etc. The bigger the strain of this delusional charade, the greater the gap between fantasy and reality, the grandiosity gap, the more the delusion coalesces and solidifies.

Finally, if the delusion is sufficiently protracted in time, it replaces reality, and the histrionic and the collapsed histrionic and narcissist reality test deteriorates considerably. He or she withdraws the bridges and may become schizotypal, catatonic or schizoid.

Another solution is the antisocial solution.

The narcissist or histrionic renounced reality. To the narcissist or histrionic's mind, those who pusillanimously fail to recognize his unbound talents, his innate superiority, his overarching brilliance, his benevolent nature, hair, stunning beauty, entitlement, cosmically important mission, affection, etc. Anyone who fails to recognize the real foundations of the narcissist or histrionic grandiosity, they don't deserve consideration.

The narcissist's natural affinity with the criminal, the lack of empathy and compassion, efficient social skills, disregard for social laws and morals, they are also common to the histrionic.

Both narcissists and histrionics have a psychopathic overlay.

Actually, many scholars claim that histrionic personality disorder is the female variant of psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder.

All these antisocial, defiant brew erupts in blossoms.

The rejected narcissist, the rejected histrionic, becomes a full-fledged antisocial, sociobank or psychopath. He or she ignores the wishes and needs of others, breaks the law, violates all rights, natural and legal, holds people in contempt and disdain, derides and decries society and its codes, punishes the ignorant in grace, and transgresses on the emotions and rights of even loved ones.

That to his or her mind, these people drove him over to this state. They are guilty, they are responsible for her or his acts.

By acting criminally and by jeopardizing their safety, lives and property, the narcissist, the collapsed narcissist, or the colossusrionic, exact vengeance, reciprocation, restores balance and justice. It's a power play within a power matrix.

A variant of this pattern of conduct is the passive-aggressive solution.

Passive aggressiveness wears a multitude of guises, procrastination, malingering, affectionism, forgetfulness, neglect, truancy, intentional inefficiency, stubbornness and outright sabotage.

This repeated and inadvertent misconduct has far-reaching effects.

Consider the negativists in the workplace. He or she invests time and efforts in obstructing their own chores and in undermining relationships.

But these self-destructive and self-defeating behaviors wreak havoc throughout the workshop of the office, same in romantic relationships.

Despite the obstructive role they play, passive aggressives feel unappreciated, bored, cheated and misunderstood. Left out, they chronically complain, whine, cough and criticize. They blame their failures and defeats on others, posing as martyrs and victims of a corrupt, inefficient and heartless system or corrupt, inefficient and heartless people.

In other words, they have alloplastic defenses and an external locus of control.

Passive aggressives suck and give the silent treatment in reaction to real or imaginary slights. They suffer from ideas of referential ideation.

They believe that they are the butt of the original contempt and condemnation. They are mildly paranoid.

The world is out to get them, which explains the person misfortunate, or they are being purposefully left out and cut out.

In the words of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, they may be solemn, irritable, impatient, argumentative, cynical, skeptical and contrary. Rageful and spiteful, they are also hostile, explosive, they lack impulse control and they are sometimes reckless.

The next solution to deficient narcissistic supply, the next solution commonly adopted by collapsed narcissist and histrionics, is the paranoid schizoid solution.

When narcissism fails as a defense mechanism, the narcissist develops paranoid narratives, self-directed confabulations, which place him at the center of others allegedly malign intention. The narcissist becomes his own audience and self-sufficient as his own sometimes exclusive source of narcissistic supply.

The narcissist develops persecutory delusions. He receives slights and insults when none were intended.

Collapsed narcissist and collapsed histrionics are hyper-vigilant. The narcissist or histrionic becomes subject to referential ideation. People are gossiping about her, mocking him, crying into his affairs, cracking her emails, etc.

The narcissist and histrionic become convinced that he or she is the center of malign and malicious attention. People are conspiring to humiliate her, punish him, abscond with his property, delude her, impoverish him, confine her physically or intellectually, censor him, impose on her time, force him to action or to inaction, frighten her, coerce him, surround and besiege her, change his mind, part with her values, victimize or even murder her, ignore her, cut her out, leave her aside, etc.

Some narcissists withdraw completely from the world, populated with such malicious and nominal subjects. They are really projections of internal objects and processes, the persecutory objects.

These collapsed narcissists and histrionics avoid all social contact except the most necessary. They refrain from meeting people, from falling in love, from having sex, from encouraging intimacy, from talking to others or even from corresponding with them.

In short, they become scissories, not out of social shyness or social anxiety, but out of what they feel to be their choice.

"This evil, hopeless world does not deserve me," goes the inner refrain, "and I shall waste none of my time and resources on it."

The next solution is the paranoid, aggressive or explosive solution.

Other narcissists who develop persecutory delusions, histrionics with the same, resort to an aggressive stance, a more violent resolution of their internal conflict.

They become verbally, psychologically, situationally and very rarely physically abusive. They insult, castigate, chastise, irate, demean and derive, their nearest and dearest, often vanishes, often loved ones.

These narcissists and histrionics explode in unprovoked displays of indignation, righteousness, spite, condemnation and blame.

Theirs is the exegetic beclam.

They interpret everything, even the most innocuous, inadvertent and innocent comment, as designed to provoke and humiliate them.

They sow fear, revulsion, hate and malignant envy. They flail against the whims of reality, apathetic for law and sight for sure.

But often they cause really, a lusting damage. They hurt people and sometimes they hurt themselves.

The next solution is the masochistic avoidance solution.

The collapsed narcissist and collapsed histrionic is angered by the lack of narcissistic supply or attention or admiration or being desired.

The collapsed narcissist and collapsed histrionic direct some of his or her fury inwards, punishing himself or herself for his or her failure.

This masochistic behavior has the added benefit of forcing the narcissist or histrionic's closest to assume the roles of dismayed spectators, spectators of or persecutors, and thus either way to pay him the attention that he craves.

So he forces people around him to observe what's happening and to pity him or pity her or to persecute him or her.

Self-administered punishment often manifests as self-handicapping masochism, the narcissistic or histrionic copal. By undermining his work, her relationship and his efforts, the increasingly fragile narcissist and histrionic avoids additional criticism and censure negative supply.

Self-inflicted failure is the narcissist or histrionic's doing and thus proves that he or she is the master of his or her own fate.

Masochistic narcissists keep finding themselves in self-defeating circumstances which render success impossible and an objective assessment of their performance improbable to quote Millemy, Theodore Millemy. They act carelessly, withdraw in mid-effort, are constantly fatigued, bored or disaffected and thus passive aggressively sabotage their lives. Their suffering is defined and by deciding to abort, they reassert their own liberties.

The collapse narcissist and histrionic's pronounced and public misery, self-pity, are compensatory.

Again, Theodore Millemy says, they are intended to reinforce his or her self-esteem against overwhelming convictions of worthlessness.

The collapse narcissist and histrionic tribulations and anguish render him or her in his or her eyes unique, saintly, virtuous, righteous, resilient and significant.

They are, in other words, self-generating narcissistic supply.

Thus paradoxically, the worstly anguish and unhappiness of the collapse narcissist or the collapse histrionic, the more relieved and elated such a narcissist or histrionic feels.

It feels good to feel bad.

In extremists, when all these default behaviors and solutions fail or when only negative, fake, low-grade and static narcissistic supplies to be had, the collapse narcissist or histrionic falls apart in a process of disintegration known as decompensation. It's the inability to maintain psychological defenses in the face of overwhelming and mounting stress. And this is accompanied by the next stage, which is acting out. It's when an inner conflict, most often frustration, translates into aggression. It involves acting with little or no insight or reflection, and in order to attract attention and disrupt other people's cozy lives.

The dynamic forces which render a narcissist and the histrionic paralyzed and fake, these or her vulnerabilities, weaknesses and fears, these are starkly exposed as his or her defenses crumble and become dysfunctional. The narcissist or histrionic's extreme dependence on his or her social milieu for the regulation of his or her sense of support is painfully and pitifully evident as he or she is reduced to begging and cajole or to threatening.

At such times, the collapse narcissist or the collapse histrionic act self-destructively and antisocially. The mask of superior equanimity is pierced by displays of impotent rage, self-loathing, self-pity, passive aggressiveness and cross-attends at manipulation of friends, family, loved ones and colleagues.

The collapse narcissist or collapse histrionic is ostensible benevolence and caring evaporates suddenly and shockingly. The mask falls, evenly erupts and emanates or maliciousness.

The collapse narcissist and collapse histrionic seek to destroy the source of frustration, to punish it, to punish loved ones, to ruin other people's lives, to cause enormous emotional havoc and anguish and pain.

The collapse narcissist and collapse histrionic feel caged and threatened and they react with as any animal would do by striking back at their perceived tormentors, at their diva to nearest and dearest.

There is no sight, no sight on God's given earth more unsettling than this transition from caring and perfect, loving, tender person.

The acting, from acting to acting out, the vicious cornered, malicious animal that strikes out at anyone and everyone around her and causes the maximum possible damage, pain and blood, both figurative and literal.

My name is Sam Vaknin. 22 years ago, I have written a book about psychopathic narcissists. I even coined most of the language in use today, including narcissistic abuse.

Yet when I come across a psychopathic narcissist, even I am shaken to my foundations.

There is something utterly reptilian or alien about these people.

Psychopathic narcissists histrionic and border like women, they are driven by primitive urges, unrequited needs, raw negative impulses like rage, addictiveness and psychological defense mechanisms run amok and awry.

It is not so much a lack of empathy as it is a kind of one-track mindedness that renders these people robotic or zombie like.

You cannot contract, make a contract, make an agreement with a psychopathic narcissist or with a histrionic borderline woman. They recognize no rules, they have no deep emotions, they get attached to absolutely no one, not even to their own children.

They play mind games with everyone, they lie incessantly and usually unnecessarily. They will not hesitate to hurt you fatally if it gratifies the triflest of their wishes.

These people, psychopathic narcissists and borderline histrionic women are not sadists. They're not out to inflict pain on you. You are merely a kind of collateral damage.

They do what they do absentmindedly. They don't care. You're not there.

Where a human being should have been, there is a vast deep space of emptiness, awash with howling from more dear beings. It is chilling.

These defective renditions of humans have no real spouses, they know no children, they maintain no friendships, they keep no families. There's no continuity. It's like a series of disjointed snapshots with nothing much to connect them.

These people plow through their lives and through the lives of their so-called nearest and dearest, like an unstoppable unconscionable wrecking balls.

They swing apathetically between compulsions and sessions. They have an ever more deeming awareness of the stirrings that pass for their consciousness.

It's like these people are raw material, unfolded, yet to become human. Some elements are there, many are missing.

I think that is what frightens people. That's what put most peopleill at ease, this is the uncanny valley.

Psychopathic narcissists and borderline histrionic women appear fully formed and fully human. Many of them are charming, many of them are irresistible.

But when you get a bit closer, on a second look, on a second meeting, the second exchange of correspondence, when you bond or attach to them, you discover that they are the wind.

Like Dali's famous painting Galatea, they are an assemblage of molecules, ever colliding, never restful, never can be grasped, never comprehensible, very painful.

Again, despite having written this book and having been exposed for 22 years to thousands of such people, with every new encounter, I am gone and sometimes even downright frightened.


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