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I think I might have HPD, but I don't want to be a bad person



New member
Feb 8, 2020
United States
From google I learned that Histrionic Personality Disorder is "characterized by a pattern of excessive attention-seeking behaviors, usually beginning in early adulthood, including inappropriate seduction and an excessive need for approval." and that "A person with histrionic personality disorder seeks attention, talks dramatically with strong opinions, is easily influenced, has rapidly changing emotions, and thinks relationships are closer than they are."

To start I want to say that I don't encourage self-diagnosing, but when I read the symptoms I felt that I identified with this a lot which made me very uncomfortable. I'm currently studying psychology which is what lead me to look into Cluster B disorders. Admitting this to myself was really difficult but in order to get help I have to admit it to others as well which is terrifying to me as this would be admitting all of the intense lies I've told to my loved ones. Reading this might make you think I'm a shitty person and you may be right. But I want to change things before they get worse and if anyone relates or has gone through similar things and has any feedback or advice I feel like it might help. This may be a bit long winded and difficult to follow since I might not proofread.

I am a 19 year old girl in my sophomore year of college. I've always been somewhat troubled and had issues with lying and seeking attention and approval. My parents and siblings all have mental health issues but I seem to be the only one who shows HPD symptoms. I like to think I developed it since my father is very work obsessed and my mother rarely paid attention to me when I was young. She had a stroke and suffered medical issues and was very withdrawn and on top of that she had to deal with 3 troubled children- one with low functioning autism (my brother) so I can't blame her for not always being there. I was smart and friendly as a child but began to develop mean traits and had a sense that I was better than everyone. I really wanted to be a famous actress and would dress and act "different" because I always thought I could catch people's attention that way. I get very upset and frustrated when I feel like people ignore me or if I'm interrupted.

I started self harming around age 10 and would almost show it off so people would know. I began to obsess over my appearance and weight around this time too, and was never satisfied despite still kind of feeling superior to others (mostly because I still excelled in school at this time.) I would lie on the internet and do strange things for attention and even make fake accounts pretending they were my friends or fans of my art. I sent a fake email pretending to be the lead in the play's parent saying their daughter wasn't allowed to be in the play because I wanted the part so badly. The police got involved and I blamed my friend who was with me at the time and we both ended up getting in trouble and were viewed poorly by teachers and classmates. I still to this day never have admitted this to anyone and I'm even scared someone I know might find this and figure it out. I feel extreme guilt to this day over this but don't know how to make it right because in my head I made myself the victim for so long and tried to push this idea on others. This was all around age 10.

In middle school I gained a lot of weight and lied about having to take medicine that made me gain weight. I lied about where my mother lived because I was ashamed that she wasn't as rich as the people I went to school with. I asked a motivational speaker w/ health problems at a school assembly how he manages to be so happy because I'm just a sad person (or something like that) in front of the whole school so they'd know I had problems I guess. Even though this was like 8 years ago I'm still embarrassed.

The self harming continued into high school, similarly I would wear shirts or dresses that would reveal my injured arms and legs. Once I even harmed my face and wore a large bandage on it. I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and OCD- all diagnoses I agree with. I was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder later, but I'm not sure if I exaggerated those symptoms or not now. Please note I have a lot of issues with memory loss and I'm just starting to regain memories that are troubling me at the moment (hence the spilling of all my information at once.) I was put on medication but sucked at (and still suck at) following the treatment plan. When I was about 15 I started to starve myself to lose weight and still have issues with that and binging. For many school assignments and exams I would use being sick or "family emergencies/sicknesses" as excuses for not doing my work (that's kind of like Munchausen/Munchausen by proxy I think.) I went to an advanced high school that you needed to apply to get in, and I loved to be able to tell people I went there. But this also meant pretty much everyone was smarter and more driven than me and it crushed my self esteem. So I made up other health issues and traumatic stories to kind of explain to others why I wasn't doing as well, even though it was because I was lazy/depressed. When reading the symptoms it said people with HPD will often start new tasks and move onto another once they get frustrated, and this very much describes my attitude towards things. When I don't feel obligated to do something, I usually won't. I feel like I'm not really passionate about anything (unless I'm just starting to get involved.)

I love to identify with whatever new hobby or interest I start too so I feel like I fit in and don't seem like a poser (even though I AM so it's quite pathetic.) For example I started going to concerts for a band my new friends liked and just acted like I had been into them for years. I read that people with HPD present strong opinions about things often without basis, and I would do this a lot. I would also be easily influenced, like I started bitching about how bad not being vegan was to my friends and was really nasty after watching some freelee the banana girl videos.

I would hang out with lots of boys and would honestly love it when they had feelings for me. I would brag to my friends whenever I found out one of them liked me. I keep my ex around as a friend after dumping him and even though we get along great, part of me knows I enjoy the fact that he still has feelings for me. I feel like I dumped him because I was bored and wanted something fresh, even though he was good to me for the most part. However, rejecting people always made me really anxious and I'm not sure if it's because I didn't want to hurt their feelings or if I didn't want them to be upset with me because of how I react to rejection. I would often resent people for not returning my feelings- even though I've never had the courage to approach anyone.

I also tend to get very attached to people and think about them a lot even if we weren't close. Recently someone who I considered a friend unfollowed me on instagram and it made me really upset. When people meet me and forget my name I also get really offended. Cognitively, I can understand that these people aren't close with me but for some reason I want to be important to them. This has killed my confidence in making new friends because I'm very bitter that people have dropped me so now I am very aloof to new people on purpose because it gives me some sense of control over the situation.

Even if I know I can get along with someone new I will get super anxious at the thought of texting them first or asking them to hang out. But I also feel this way about people who I actually am close with. With one friend I went to his place a lot because I felt comfortable (and this takes a lot) so I would go there even just to smoke and then leave sometimes (yes I see now this is shitty.) Once I was told that I can't just show up to smoke and leave I stopped asking him to hang out and was really upset with him. Now I never reach out to him first , but lucky for me he is still my friend and he still invites me to hang out sometimes.

I feel like the HPD manifests a lot in my fantasies. I’ll fantasize a lot about the people who dropped me crawling back and being able to reject them. But I would never do that, I forgive people almost always because in my mind the more people that like me, the better. I fantasize about being famous and people falling in love with me dramatically. Practicing scenarios in my head that will never happen. I always like to bite off more than I can chew because of this, I always think I'm destined for greatness but I know that I have trouble with consistency and motivation so even mediocrity is kind of a far reach.

It's very strange that I crave attention but at the same time have such bad anxiety that I rarely want to leave my house. It’s like I only want to present the version of myself people would like, always dressed well with bold, eye catching makeup. Sometimes the only thing that will make me happy in a day will be a stranger complimenting my makeup.

I fish for compliments a lot and am addicted to reading messages on tinder. I get very defensive and emotional when criticized. I’m very self conscious of whatever I post on social media and obsess over people’s perception of me. I get very depressed thinking about the shitty things I’ve done but can’t come to terms with it and be honest because of how people will view me if they know. I’m bad at sticking with treatment plans and have probably fucked up my brain by not being consistent with medications and experimenting with lots of drugs. I’ve had bad acid and mushroom trips that left me really embarrassed because of how I acted and I still have flashbacks from them. I’ve stopped the harder drugs but still smoke weed every day to deal with anxiety. I stopped going to group therapy because I was so embarrassed about how much I tried to dominate the conversations.

At this point I want so badly to just run away and start over, being completely honest from there on out. But I know that's not how to solve problems and I don't even think I'd be truthful even if I had that opportunity. All I know is that I'm tired of lying and want to be better, but I don't know how to deal with the stress that comes with being my authentic self. Sometimes I feel like there is no authentic me because of how far I've gotten. I'm filled with so much guilt and self-hatred that I think about killing myself every day (believe it or not, I'm not exaggerating with this part.)

This isn’t everything (it's already way too long) but it’s probably the most honest I’ve ever been about myself and it’s pretty scary to say the least. In the unlikely event that someone reads this and figures out who I am, I’m sorry and I hope you don’t spread the word and allow me to deal with this at my own pace.

TL;DR I can comprehend things factually but can't control my emotional responses. I lie to excuse my behavior and for sympathy, hyper focus on negativity, jump from hobby to hobby without gaining real skills because I always quit, I cut people off before they can cut me off and don’t know how to fucking stop.

If you have any feedback, questions or even just relate please let me know. I feel super alone and sad in dealing with this. Anything is appreciated, even if it's harsh because that might be what I need to hear. Thanks.


Well-known member
Jan 11, 2020
I don’t know a lot about hpd, but I do know that it’s an illness. A highly stigmatised illness with frustrating behaviour but still an illness. Having an illness (any illness) does not make you a bad person.


Well-known member
Oct 16, 2019
North Carolina
Obviously we dont diagnose people here but i think what you describes definitely fits a strong cluster b mold. I think you defintely need to talk to your provider and be honest about all this so you can get proper treatment for proper diagnoses.

I applaud you for doing some self analysis and being honest with yourself which is hard. Hopefully you can start working on yourself and getting to be where you want to in your actions and emotions.

Welcome ! And you're definitely not a bad person. You just need a little help. We're happy to lend support !!