What is the Difference Between Borderline Personality Disorder & Histrionic Personality Disorder?

Personality disorders sometimes have overlapping symptoms, as many disorders involve some degree of instability in mood and/or coping mechanisms, impulsivity, motivation and energy, and more. In fact, many people with personality disorders have trouble keeping and maintaining social relationships, as their perceptions of themselves and others may be skewed or unstable at times. If you’ve been doing research on personality disorders, you’ll likely find the inescapable truth that it’s quite possible to be misdiagnosed – this overlap in symptoms can make it very hard for a healthcare professional to diagnose you accurately.

Many clinicians argue that both borderline personality disorder (BPD) and histrionic personality disorder are practically the same, but there are some key differences. Here is a short and simple breakdown of each:

Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
  • Intense and unstable relationships with family
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Unstable self-image
  • Mood swings

Histrionic Personality Disorder

  • Discomfort in situations where one is not center of attention
  • Inappropriate sexually seductive/provocative behavior
  • Rapidly shifting emotions
  • Self-dramatization and exaggerated expressions
  • Easily influenced by outside circumstances

A 2015 review published in The Lancet highlights the unfortunate reality that many people with personality disorders go years without being correctly diagnosed, making treatment ineffective or harmful at its worst – placing individuals at risk for developing other conditions alongside their current one. While it takes time and sometimes second opinions, evaluations are important for your mental health recovery journey.

Both disorders are based on severe mood swings, impulsivity, and difficulty with relationships, which means that one disorder could easily be misdiagnosed for the other. The National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) has listed treatment for either of these disorders are psychotherapy approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and medication to assist with mood swings, depression, and/or other troubling symptoms. If you’ve been diagnosed with BPD or histrionic personality disorder, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about treatment programs and which may be the best option for you. Recovery is possible.

Learning to be is part of the process of trauma recovery. Stop the cycle of merry-go-round treatment and find the solution you’re looking for in trauma treatment. Through effective residential treatment, Khiron House helps you find the path you need toward health and wellness in recovery. For information, call us today. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours). USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).