Histrionic personality disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of attention-seeking behavior, often very emotional and dramatic in nature. (The word histrionic means “dramatic or theatrical.”) People with this type of personality disorder often have unstable emotions, a distorted self-image, constant need for approval and reassurance and an overwhelming desire to be noticed. While the exact cause is unknown, genes and early childhood events (for example, a lack of criticism or punishment as a child) are likely to play a role. Diagnosed more frequently in women than men, the disorder typically develops by a person’s late teens or early 20s. People with this condition often seek treatment after experiencing depression or anxiety from a failed romance or other relationship conflict. While medication may help ease symptoms, talk therapy has been found to be most effective for treating the condition itself.