Can exist separately from ‘hysteria’. Enhanced suggestibility and propensity to dissociate. Traits include: (1) egotism; vanity; self-indulgence. (2) exhibitionism; dramatization; histrionicity; pseudologia fantastica. (3) irrational; unbridled; capricious; emotionality. (4) emotional shallowness; fraudulent affect. (5) lasciviousness; sexualisation; coquetry. (6) sexual frigidity; fear of mature sexuality; (7) demanding; dependency.
Have been described a “…a distorted caricature of femininity.” and as “…manipulative lady patients.”
Hysterical personalities crave to appear both to themselves and to others, as more than they are and to experience more than of which they are capable. Appear as pathetic actors, all experience for them is contrived, forced but not consciously. They live in their own drama, caught up in the entirety of the moment.
Eventually, in the end, the hysterical personality loses its ‘core’ and consists simply of a number of different exteriors. Such individuals are often depressed as an aspect of the primary dissociation. The secondary dissociation means seeking medical attentions that involves suggestion, and role playing.
Excitability, emotional instability, over-reactivity, and self-dramatisation all often involve attention seeking, and seductive behaviour – whether or not aware. The hysterical personality is immature, self-centred, vain, dependent on others, and therefore appear as ‘grown-ups’ but with the egos of children.
They are prone to impulsive actions, un-reflectiveness, naivete, and emotional lability. There can be avoidance of intellectual curiosity and active thinking. Often romantic and sentimental and prone to nostalgic idealisation, they can become emotionally charged and emotionally provocative. Emotional storms quickly subside without being experienced, in being participated in.
There is also involved the conscious telling of lies and the repression of facts. Hence many are pathological liars and swindlers. This implies a demonstrative and fantasy life aimed at evoking sympathy and compassion. It follows that these personalities when faced with difficulties may show very marked demonstrative behaviour.
Derived from notes made and experiences during psychiatric nurse training during period 1966-1970.