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The querulating personality: what is it and how does it manifest?

In some people it is easy to identify a compulsive tendency to file complaints, complaints and complaints. This is because they operate with a very particular idea of ​​justice, in which their rights are usually maximized or overrepresented.

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

In the world of law, the querulous personality is well known. The majority of judges, lawyers and prosecutors have had the misfortune of encountering this figure in their professional performance. We talk about a person with a tendency to constantly argue, to feel offended and harmed without any basis, searching and demanding an idea of ​​justice that only exists in his mind.

However, the repercussions of this pathology can go beyond the legal field. Costs at a personal, family and economic level are present in this person’s environment. Therefore, we want to explain to you what its main characteristics are and what can be done about it.

What is the querulous personality like?

The word querulant comes from Latin and designates that person “who complains”; However, it is sometimes used as a synonym for complainant, in reference to the compulsive tendency of the person to provoke unnecessary legal litigation.

The querulating personality presents very marked characteristics that go beyond the judicial field. These usually become evident, generating discomfort, conflicts and negative consequences for the entire environment. Thus, these are some of the most present manifestations:

They show a persistent attitude of suspicion, mistrust and mistrust. You may feel that you are the victim of a conspiracy or deception, that you are being persecuted and spied on, and that someone else is obstructing the achievement of your goals. They have an irritable and disgruntled mood, accompanied by anger and discontent. They are hostile and demanding most of the time.They feel misunderstood, slandered and harmed in multiple situations, even without real indications that this is the case. They are excessively sensitive to frustration, incapable of forgiving grievances and tend to hold grudges persistently. They present a oppositional, negativistic and defiant behavior. They litigate and constantly seek “justice” for themselves and to be compensated for the alleged damages caused. They usually harbor feelings of envy and desire for revenge towards others, as they are incapable of recognizing the achievements of others, which they usually consider undeserved.They believe they are in absolute possession of reason and they are not open to reconsidering their position or listening to other opinions or evidence. Thus, it does not matter how many times their complaints are dismissed, how much evidence is presented against their arguments or how much time, effort or money they must invest: they will not stop until they are proven right. In general, They go to court with excessive frequency and insistence. They may even go so far as to denounce the lawyer who is handling their case, giving rise to an endless cycle of litigation.

A form of paranoid delusion

As in any psychological condition, these traits can be present in different degrees without necessarily constituting a pathology. However, if they occur excessively and persistently, they are likely to be indication of a paranoid personality disorder.

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This psychological disorder characterizes suspicious and combative people, excessively focused on themselves and defending their rights. Even without evidence, They are suspicious of the actions of others and infer malice in them; They are hypervigilant about possible social threats and feel easily attacked or offended.

They can adapt and appear functional and very competent in their daily lives; However, it is common for them to be the source of numerous conflicts. On the other hand, if a specific delusional idea occurs for a period of more than a month, we may be talking about a delusional disorder. Which is, generally, how the querulating personality is classified.

In this case, the person suffers from a delusion (a belief that is lived with absolute conviction despite the lack of evidence) without the presence of any other type of alteration. In other areas he is a completely normal and functional person.

Even the key idea of ​​their delusion is usually realistic (in the sense that it is likely to happen, like a neighbor spying on the person, and not like claiming to have suffered an alien invasion). This makes it difficult to identify the disorder.

Prognosis and treatment of querulous personality

In both cases, these are difficult conditions to treat, since the person is not aware of the disease. They tend to be very intelligent and well-adjusted individuals beyond cherulancy. Furthermore, they tend to perceive therapeutic suggestions as threatening and tend to increase their susceptibility and defensive nature.

In the case of a delusional disorder, antipsychotic drugs can help to reduce the intensity of delirium and open the way to psychotherapeutic work; but, even in this way, the approach is complex.

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When the querulous personality is very marked, the social cost for the person ends up being great. He can abandon his obligations, relegate other activities, put aside or harm his personal relationships and even ruin himself following his own ideal of justice.

In addition, of course, to the costs in time and money that they generate for the Administration of Justice. For this reason, in some cases an incapacity may be sought that limits the person’s ability to act judicially.

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