An early conceptualization of histrionic personality disorder can be found in accounts of hysteria written by Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud. Janet was impressed with the role of actual seduction (or other trauma) in childhood, whereas Freud focused on the unconscious elaboration of the child's sexual drive (i.e., libido). Subsequent psychoanalytic observers noted that hysterical symptoms were often associated with a particular set of character traits, which led to the designation of a hysterical type of personality disorder in DSM-II.

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Table Reference Number
TABLE 20–17. DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for histrionic personality disorder
Table Reference Number
TABLE 20–18. Treatment of histrionic personality disorder


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