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Сase Study: Histrionic Personality Disorder

A case study is a qualitative research method that involves the observation of a person, group, or community over an extended period to identify the process and development of a particular issue of interest.

Apart from observation, a case study may use other data collection methods such as unstructured interviews; reading a subject’s personal diary, personal notes, official documents, and analyzing a subject’s photo, which will help give a detailed and clear profile of the study subject and a comprehension of the particular issue of interest in the subject.

A case study is usually carried over long periods of time; therefore, it is usually more detailed than other research methods. Sometimes quantitative data may also be collected from a case study. It is not uncommon to find the application of a case study in Psychology for research purposes. Renowned psychologists, such as Sigmund Freud, applied case studies in their psychological research.

Examples of Freud’s famous case studies are The Rat Man and Little Hans, which he both carried out in 1909. Today, students of psychiatry and abnormal psychology are encouraged to use case studies in their development of clear insights about a certain mental disorder.

Below is an example of a case study of someone with histrionic personality disorder

According to the American Psychological Association, histrionic personality disorder is a personality disorder indicated by when an adult (either early or older adult) expresses excessive attention-seeking behavior; adopts an inappropriate seductive behavior, and has an excessive desire for approval. Cases of histrionic personality disorder are usually enthusiastic, vivacious, dramatic, lively, and flirtatious. 80% of these cases are women while 20% of these cases are men. Here is a histrionic personality disorder case study of a college student named Jane.

Jane is a 21-year-old female student at the Arizona State University. She is in her freshman year at the University and she is majoring in Business Administration. Like all the other freshmen, she is faced with the difficult task of fitting into the college society. Instead of settling in slowly and steadily, Jane seems to be in a hurry to start “living” the college life.

Two weeks after her enrollment in the University, she started attending classes dressed scantily. She has maintained this form of dressing to the present. She wears very short shorts; vest tops without a bra; and black high heeled boots. Usually, she changes the shorts for very short skirts. Her dressing resembles Miley Cyrus’ dressing. Recently, she added freaking tattoos just above her breasts; on the inside of her lower arms; and on her thighs, just above her knees. These tattoos on her body and her dressing have earned her popularity across the campus.

Recently, Jane was called for a talk by the Dean of the School of Business. This call was initiated by complaints from many lecturers, who observed that Jane’s mode of dressing and lifestyle would trouble her professional development in a business career. The Dean carried out the task of expressing these concerns and observations to her. This was meant to encourage her to adopt a lifestyle that matched the business profession, which was hugely influenced by dress codes. Unfortunately, Jane disagreed with the lecturer’s observation and the dean expressions. In fact, she was gravely irritated by her lecturers’ opinions about her lifestyle. Anyone passing by could hear her shouting about the school’s intent to infringe her right as a woman to dress freely. The result of this “conversation” was that Jane decided to transfer from the School of Business to the School of Arts.

Lately, Jane has found her clique. The clique’s members dress similarly and have tattoos on different parts of their body. Jane’s clique usually walks together with her on campus and goes out together on Friday and Saturday nights. Last month, after going on a drinking spree, the clique was out on the streets of Phoenix. There, they came across a jewelry store that had been closed for the night. Suddenly, one of the members of the group dared Jane to break into the store and grab a necklace. Predictably, the other members of the clique supported this idea. Jane, willingly, broke a huge glass wall of the store opposite the group using a bottle of beer. Fortunately, the store had an alarm system, which was triggered by the intrusion. Within no time, the cops rounded up the group and they were taken to Jail. Later, Jane and her clique were released from jail at the mercy of the store owner, who was an elderly woman.

The case study above is an illustration of the observations made by a researcher on a student (Jane) at Arizona State University. Through the notes of the researcher, one is able to draw inferences that Jane is suffering from histrionic personality disorder. Firstly, the researcher observes Jane’s dressing code, which indicates that it is meant to draw other people’s attention towards her since it is inappropriate and seductive. Secondly, the researcher observes that Jane transfers from one school to another simply because her lifestyle is not approved as observed by her lecturers at the previous school. Additionally, she attempts to steal from a store in order to gain approval from her clique. These two examples show Jane’s desire for approval. Jane’s desire for attention and approval show that she is suffering from histrionic personality disorder. The above histrionic personality disorder case study example is an appropriate example of a case study.

Image: 2017-10/histrionic-personality-disorder.jpg
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