Amber Heard and Johnny Depp’s defamation trial, which has become a trending topic recently, also contributed the latest facts about psychology, especially in the realm of mental disorders. For those who didn’t follow the defamation trial from the start, let’s take a look at the timeline of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard cases.
Initially, Depp and Heard’s relationship was fine as a husband and wife. Finally, in 2016, Heard filed for divorce from Depp on the grounds that Depp had committed domestic violence. This lawsuit caused parties who had worked with Johnny Depp to cancel the cooperation agreement. In fact, Disney and Warner Bros., the two companies that contracted Depp as the main star of their film franchise, announced that they were firing Depp after Heard filed a divorce suit against him.
But in 2019, Depp filed a counterclaim of $50 million against Heard. He said that he did not commit domestic violence to Heard at all and vice versa. It was Heard who committed domestic violence to Depp. This demand was accompanied by statements from witnesses which disproved Heard’s claim that he had been physically abused by Depp.
Finally, both parties agreed to attend the trial to resolve this case. Last April 11, 2022, this trial began in the Superior Court of Virginia. What’s interesting is that on April 27, 2022, Johnny Depp invited Dr. Shannon Curry, a forensic psychologist, who diagnosed Amber Heard. According to the testimony of Dr. Curry, Amber Heard has a borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.
So, this time we will discuss histrionic personality disorder first in this article.
Disclaimer: This article is intended as an educational tool only and not for self-diagnosis. The hope is that this article can also help us take appropriate action when we meet individuals who suffer from the same disorder.
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What is Histrionic Personality Disorder?
Histrionic personality disorder is a mental health condition characterized by emotional instability, a distorted self-image, and a great desire to be the center of attention. Usually, people with this personality disorder not only like to flex, but also like to create amazing sensations. In Amber Heard’s case, the diagnosis of histrionic personality disorder is consistent with the evidence presented at trial, that Heard created a sensation by accusing Depp of domestic violence.
Histrionic personality disorder is rare and occurs in only 1% of the world’s population. Most people with this disorder are women in their early 20s or late teens.
Causes of Disturbances
It’s still not clear what causes this disorder, but experts believe that histrionic personality disorder is genetically inherited. For example, someone who is born into a family with high levels of depression and anxiety can develop a personality disorder of any kind. In addition, in general, family and socio-economic conditions, childhood trauma, culture, education, and environmental influences can also trigger the development of personality disorders in a person.
Reporting from WebMD and DSM-5, a number of symptoms are shown by people with histrionic personality disorder, including:
- Always want to be the center of attention and do not want to be compared with others.
- May threaten or attempt suicide to get attention.
- Easily bored or frustrated when faced with routines, so they tend not to focus on one task.
- Overly concerned with physical appearance and may use physical appearance and sexuality to seek attention.
- Constantly seeking reassurance or approval from others.
- Easily deceived and easily influenced by others.
- Too sensitive to criticism.
- Acts very dramatically, as if the audience is watching.
- Rarely thinks before acting/impulsive.
- Be selfish and do not care about other people’s feelings.
- Difficulty building commitment, both with work and with other people.
How to Deal with Distractions
Psychotherapy with an individual focus is the most effective treatment for histrionic personality disorder. Research has proven that psychodynamic therapy that focuses on trauma healing can help individuals deal with problems related to this personality disorder.
Dealing with People with Histrionic Personality Disorder
Then, what if there are people around us who suffer from histrionic personality disorder? How to deal with people like this?
- Don’t fall for the drama
People with histrionic personality disorder very often dramatize and exaggerate things, for example other people’s mistakes against them. Therefore, try to keep us thinking logically and not believing what they say.
- Give distance so that anger subsides
Often people with histrionic personality disorder have explosive temper tantrums. If this happens, we can be exposed to the sap. Either hurt emotionally or physically. Therefore, staying away for a while can be a way for us to let them calm down instead of getting involved in bigger problems.
- Talk to a psychologist
If our friends, coworkers, or partners have symptoms that are suspected of leading to histrionic personality disorder, we should immediately discuss it with a psychologist to seek professional advice. For this problem, most psychologists understand what we should do.