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Querulous paranoia

Querulous paranoia

In the legal profession and courts, a querulant from the Latin querulus - "complaining" is a person who obsessively feels wronged, particularly about minor causes of action. In particular the term is used for those who repeatedly petition authorities or pursue legal actions based on manifestly unfounded grounds. These applications include in particular complaints about petty offenses.

Querulant behavior is to be distinguished from either the obsessive pursuit of justice regarding major injustices, or the proportionate, reasonable, pursuit of justice regarding minor grievances. According to Mullen and Lester, the life of the querulant individual becomes consumed by their personal pursuit of justice in relation to minor grievances.

In psychiatrythe terms querulous paranoia Kraepelin[1] [2] and litigious paranoia [3] have been used to describe a paranoid condition which manifested itself in querulant behavior. The concept had, untildisappeared from the psychiatric literature; largely because it had been misused to stigmatise the behavior of people seeking the resolution of valid grievances.

According to Lester et al. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Lectures in clinical psychiatry trans. London: Bailliere, Tindall and Cox. The British Journal of Psychiatry.

Categories : Paranoia Latin legal terminology Abuse of the legal system Judicial legal terminology. Hidden categories: CS1 errors: missing periodical.

Coping With Paranoia In A Loved One

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Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Look up querulantquerulousor querulousness in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.Paranoia is an instinct or thought process which is believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fearoften to the point of delusion and irrationality. Paranoia is distinct from phobiaswhich also involve irrational fear, but usually no blame.

Paranoid personality disorder

Making false accusations and the general distrust of other people also frequently accompany paranoia. Paranoia is a central symptom of psychosis. A common symptom of paranoia is the attribution bias. These individuals typically have a biased perception of reality, often exhibiting more hostile beliefs.

An investigation of a non-clinical paranoid population found that feeling powerless and depressed, isolating oneself, and relinquishing activities are characteristics that could be associated with those exhibiting more frequent paranoia. Due to the suspicious and troublesome personality traits of paranoia, it is unlikely that someone with paranoia will thrive in interpersonal relationships.

Most commonly paranoid individuals tend to be of a single status. The least common types of paranoia at the very top of the hierarchy would be those involving more serious threats. Social anxiety is at the bottom of this hierarchy as the most frequently exhibited level of paranoia. Social circumstances appear to be highly influential on paranoid beliefs. Potential causes of these effects included a sense of believing in external control, and mistrust which can be strengthened by lower socioeconomic status.

Those living in a lower socioeconomic status may feel less in control of their own lives. In addition, this study explains that females have the tendency to believe in external control at a higher rate than males, potentially making females more susceptible to mistrust and the effects of socioeconomic status on paranoia. Emanuel Messinger reports that surveys have revealed that those exhibiting paranoia can evolve from parental relationships and untrustworthy environments.

These environments could include being very disciplinary, stringent, and unstable. It was even noted that, "indulging and pampering thereby impressing the child that they are something special and warrants special privileges ," can be contributing backgrounds. Discrimination has also been reported as a potential predictor of paranoid delusions. Such reports that paranoia seemed to appear more in older patients who had experienced higher levels of discrimination throughout their lives.

In addition to this it has been noted that immigrants are quite susceptible to forms of psychosis. This could be due to the aforementioned effects of discriminatory events and humiliation. Many more mood-based symptoms, grandiosity and guilt, may underlie functional paranoia. Colby defined paranoid cognition in terms of persecutory delusions and false beliefs whose propositional content clusters around ideas of being harassed, threatened, harmed, subjugated, persecuted, accused, mistreated, wronged, tormented, disparaged, vilified, and so on, by malevolent others, either specific individuals or groups p.

Paranoid cognition has been conceptualized by clinical psychology almost exclusively in terms of psychodynamic constructs and dispositional variables. From this point of view, paranoid cognition is a manifestation of an intra-psychic conflict or disturbance. This intra-psychic perspective emphasizes that the cause of paranoid cognitions are inside the head of the people social perceiverand dismiss the fact that paranoid cognition may be related with the social context in which such cognitions are embedded.

This point is extremely relevant because when origins of distrust and suspicion two components of paranoid cognition are studied many researchers have accentuated the importance of social interaction, particularly when social interaction has gone awry. Even more, a model of trust development pointed out that trust increases or decreases as a function of the cumulative history of interaction between two or more persons.

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Another relevant difference can be discerned among "pathological and non-pathological forms of trust and distrust". According to Deutsch, the main difference is that non-pathological forms are flexible and responsive to changing circumstances. Pathological forms reflect exaggerated perceptual biases and judgmental predispositions that can arise and perpetuate them, are reflexively caused errors similar to a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It has been suggested that a "hierarchy" of paranoia exists, extending from mild social evaluative concerns, through ideas of social reference, to persecutory beliefs concerning mild, moderate, and severe threats. A paranoid reaction may be caused from a decline in brain circulation as a result of high blood pressure or hardening of the arterial walls.

Drug-induced paranoia, associated with cannabisamphetaminesmethamphetamine and similar stimulants has much in common with schizophrenic paranoia; the relationship has been under investigation since Drug-induced paranoia has a better prognosis than schizophrenic paranoia once the drug has been removed.

Based on data obtained by the Dutch NEMESIS project inthere was an association between impaired hearing and the onset of symptoms of psychosis, which was based on a five-year follow up.In the legal profession and courts, a querulant from the Latin querulus - "complaining" is a person who obsessively feels wronged, particularly about minor causes of action.

In particular the term is used for those who repeatedly petition authorities or pursue legal actions based on manifestly unfounded grounds. These applications include in particular complaints about petty offenses. Querulant behavior is to be distinguished from either the obsessive pursuit of justice regarding major injustices, or the proportionate, reasonable, pursuit of justice regarding minor grievances.

According to Mullen and Lester, the life of the querulant individual becomes consumed by their personal pursuit of justice in relation to minor grievances.

In psychiatrythe terms querulous paranoia Kraepelin[1] [2] and litigious paranoia [3] have been used to describe a paranoid condition which manifested itself in querulant behavior.

The concept had, untildisappeared from the psychiatric literature; largely because it had been misused to stigmatise the behavior of people seeking the resolution of valid grievances.

According to Lester et al. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Querulous paranoia. Lectures in clinical psychiatry trans. London: Bailliere, Tindall and Cox. The British Journal of Psychiatry.

Categories : Paranoia Latin legal terminology Abuse of the legal system Judicial legal terminology. Hidden categories: CS1 errors: missing periodical.

Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Look up querulantquerulousor querulousness in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.By subscribing you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Health Topics. Special Reports. Health Tools. Emotional Health. By Dawn M. Last Updated: November 15, Paranoia is a state characterized by a chronic sense of anxiety and mistrust. Depending on the form it takes and the way symptoms are expressed, it can be a symptom of several distinct, diagnosable mental illnesses. Others are generalized and may interfere with decision-making and relationships.

Learn about the causes of paranoia, how to find help, and tips for dealing with paranoia in a friend or family member. Looking for a mental health clinic for paranoia? Check out a comparison of mental health clinics. What Is Paranoia?

querulous paranoia

We casually describe someone as being paranoid if he expresses suspicion or feels exploited, mistreated, or oppressed more often than others. In most cases, these reactions indicate low self-esteem, pessimism, or perhaps a skewed outlook shaped by negative experiences. True paranoia is an extreme, specific, and unmistakable symptom of several serious disorders.

Following is an overview of each, with a corresponding description of symptoms. Paranoid Schizophrenia This mental illness is marked by a disconnection from reality.

The paranoid subtype is characterized by specific ideations, hallucinations, and highly unrealistic beliefs. Hallucinations - Paranoid schizophrenics often hear voices. The content of the hallucination is usually derogatory, or instructs the person to take certain actions that could hurt himself or others.

Anxiety, anger, aloofness, and argumentativeness - He may also patronize others or be extremely intense in his dealings with others. A tendency toward violence is possible. Other symptoms normally associated with schizophrenia are not usually present in people with the paranoid subtype. Delusional Disorder Like paranoid schizophrenia, delusional disorder is marked by unfounded beliefs centering on a cohesive theme.

Two subtypes reflect paranoid tendencies. Jealous Type - The jealous type exhibits delusions involving the imagined unfaithfulness of a partner or spouse. Persecutory Type - The persecutory type involves delusions based on a belief that some group or faction is intentionally pursuing the person with the intent to do specific harm.

Anger and the possibility of violence against the perceived enemy are common symptoms. Paranoid Personality Disorder Some characteristics are shared between paranoid personality disorder and the previously mentioned illnesses. In the personality disorder, however, the paranoid beliefs about the intentions of others persist, even in the absence of hallucinations. Also, people who suffer from paranoid personality disorder show symptoms early, often beginning in childhood, whereas schizophrenia and delusional disorder do not emerge until the adult enters his 20s.

Other symptoms of paranoid personality disorder include: - Suspicions that others harbor malevolent intentions against him. Borderline Personality Disorder This bears mentioning because paranoid beliefs and illusions are sometimes held by people with BPD. However, paranoia is not the predominant factor. BPD occurs primarily in women, whereas the other disorders occur most often in men. Treatment Options Treatment for paranoia includes psychotherapy and medication. It also teaches him new interpersonal skills that allow him to function more satisfactorily.Obsessive litigants are individuals who burden the judicial process by repeatedly filing causes of action that are ultimately found to be with little or no merit.

If you are a litigator, chances are that you may have interacted or heard about one over the course of your career.

You would probably have little difficulty conjuring up a story of at least one individual who frequently inhabits the doorways of law offices and courthouses, each time with a new complaint against an individual or a group of people. The cost or consequences of litigation are sometimes trivial to these clients, whereas retribution for a real or imagined slight or injustice is their foremost priority.

Persistent litigation has been described across professions in different ways. In general, these terms describe an individual who exhibits several of the following qualities:.

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This term is more neutral than previously used terms such as querulous, paranoid, and vexatious that are pejorative. An obsessive litigant is an individual who makes excessive and egregious use of the legal system for a primarily nonlegal purpose.

It should be noted that, although there is usually a legal purpose for their suits, the legal purpose is not paramount to the needs of the client. We also note that this is not a single trait but rather a grouping of common characteristics of obsessive behavior. A litigant may exhibit only some of the above characteristics in an exaggerated manner and still fall within the construct of the obsessive litigant. Although it is referred to by different names in different professional fields, as well as in different parts of the world, the concept of obsessive litigant behavior is a well-documented phenomenon throughout history.

Recently, Benjamin Levy2 published a two-part article on the history of this behavior in which he discussed historical origins and geographical differences in how excessive litigation has been conceptualized and researched. In Part 2 of the article, he discussed the history of querulous behavior and vexatious litigation in the United States3. Before we delve further into our own conceptualizations of such litigants, we will recapitulate and expand upon the Levy reviews.

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When these individuals are not granted the rights they desire or are otherwise displeased with the outcome of legal proceedings, they become fixated on attaining justice. This fixation begins a downward spiral that eventually results in a full-blown delusional disorder. These classifications laid the foundation for subsequent German psychiatrists to study and debate the concept of obsessive litigant behavior for the next half century.

Although France is in geographical proximity to Germany, the development of the concept of obsessive litigant behavior evolved differently there. Like Kraepelin, French scholars generally believed that obsessive litigants were exaggerating or distorting real events6. In addition, Benjamin Ball combined the existing views on listed features he believed to be common among all obsessive litigants: relentless activity, outstanding tenacity, personal elation, abuse of logic, and graphomania7.

The associated concept of reasoning mania fell out of favor with many French scholars in the late 19th century, and persecuted-persecutors disappeared from the research literature shortly thereafter. This idea was replaced by what the French psychiatrist Benjamin Pailhas referred to as delusions of revindication. Pailhas believed these individuals, unlike those with paranoia querulans, who were said to be seeking more than their fair share of rights, perceived that they had lost things that rightfully belonged to them and were bitterly revolting against the person or entity responsible for the seizure8.

Unlike in Germany and France, this concept has received little attention from psychiatrists and psychologists in the United States. Most of the research regarding obsessive litigant behavior has been conducted by legal researchers who seek to determine its impact on the legal system.

Nonetheless, psychological research on this concept in the United States remains modest. Obsessive litigant behavior is acknowledged in the two primary diagnostic manuals on mental illness used worldwide, and extant psychological research suggests similarities between American obsessive litigants and those in other countries.

However, mental health professionals have had little role in the management of obsessive litigants in the United States. Levy offered a hypothesis about why persistent litigants are in practice rarely seen as pathological in this country. In many popular novels and films, extended litigation is often associated with meritorious legal issues and is enacted by well-adjusted individuals.Paranoid personality disorder PPD is a mental illness characterized by paranoid delusionsand a pervasive, long-standing suspiciousness and generalized mistrust of others.

People with this personality disorder may be hypersensitive, easily insulted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions that may validate their fears or biases.

querulous paranoia

They are eager observers. They think they are in danger and look for signs and threats of that danger, potentially not appreciating other interpretations or evidence. They tend to be guarded and suspicious and have quite constricted emotional lives. Their reduced capacity for meaningful emotional involvement and the general pattern of isolated withdrawal often lend a quality of schizoid isolation to their life experience. A genetic contribution to paranoid traits and a possible genetic link between this personality disorder and schizophrenia exist.

A large long-term Norwegian twin study found paranoid personality disorder to be modestly heritable and to share a portion of its genetic and environmental risk factors with the other cluster A personality disorders, schizoid and schizotypal.

Psychosocial theories implicate projection of negative internal feelings and parental modeling. It is a requirement of ICD that a diagnosis of any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria. It is also pointed out that for different cultures it may be necessary to develop specific sets of criteria with regard to social norms, rules and other obligations. Includes: expansive paranoid, fanaticquerulant and sensitive paranoid personality disorder.

Excludes: delusional disorder and schizophrenia. They require in general the presence of lasting distrust and suspicion of others, interpreting their motives as malevolent, from an early adult age, occurring in a range of situations. Four of seven specific issues must be present, which include different types of suspicions or doubt such as of being exploited, or that remarks have a subtle threatening meaningin some cases regarding others in general or specifically friends or partners, and in some cases referring to a response of holding grudges or reacting angrily.

PPD is characterized by a pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts. To qualify for a diagnosis, the patient must meet at least four out of the following criteria: [8].

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Various researchers and clinicians may propose varieties and subsets or dimensions of personality related to the official diagnoses. Psychologist Theodore Millon has proposed five subtypes of paranoid personality: [10]. Paranoid personality disorder can involve, in response to stress, very brief psychotic episodes lasting minutes to hours.

The paranoid may also be at greater than average risk of experiencing major depressive disorderagoraphobiasocial anxiety disorderobsessive-compulsive disorder or alcohol and substance-related disorders. Criteria for other personality disorder diagnoses are commonly also met, such as: [11] schizoidschizotypalnarcissisticavoidantborderline and negativistic personality disorder. Because of reduced levels of trust, there can be challenges in treating PPD.

The Problem of the Obsessive Litigant

However, psychotherapyantidepressantsantipsychotics and anti-anxiety medications can play a role when a person is receptive to intervention. PPD occurs in about 0. It is more common in males. One of the earliest descriptions of the paranoid personality comes from the French psychiatrist Valentin Magnan who described a "fragile personality" that showed idiosyncratic thinking, hypochondriasis, undue sensitivity, referential thinking and suspiciousness.

Closely related to this description is Emil Kraepelin's description from of a pseudo-querulous personality who is "always on the alert to find grievance, but without delusions", vain, self-absorbed, sensitive, irritable, litigious, obstinate, and living at strife with the world.

Inhe renamed the condition paranoid personality and described these people as distrustful, feeling unjustly treated and feeling subjected to hostility, interference and oppression. He also observed a contradiction in these personalities: on the one hand, they stubbornly hold on to their unusual ideas, on the other hand, they often accept every piece of gossip as the truth.

Subsequent writers also considered traits like suspiciousness and hostility to predispose people to developing delusional illnesses, particularly "late paraphrenias" of old age.

Following Kraepelin, Eugen Bleuler described "contentious psychopathy" or "paranoid constitution" as displaying the characteristic triad of suspiciousness, grandiosity and feelings of persecution. He also emphasized that these people's false assumptions do not attain the form of real delusion.

Ernst Kretschmer emphasized the sensitive inner core of the paranoia-prone personality: they feel shy and inadequate but at the same time they have an attitude of entitlement. They attribute their failures to the machinations of others but secretly to their own inadequacy.

They experience constant tension between feelings of self-importance and experiencing the environment as unappreciative and humiliating. Karl Jaspersa German phenomenologistdescribed "self-insecure" personalities who resemble the paranoid personality.

According to Jaspers, such people experience inner humiliation, brought about by outside experiences and their interpretations of them. They have an urge to get external confirmation to their self-deprecation and that makes them see insults in the behavior of other people. They suffer from every slight because they seek the real reason for them in themselves.Querulous paranoia was once of considerable clinical and academic interest in psychiatry.

Over the last 40 years, however, it has virtually disappeared from the professional landscape. This decline occurred at the very time that a proliferation of complaint organizations and agencies of accountability were drawing more and more people into asserting their individual rights through the pursuit of claims and grievances.

Querulous behaviour, as a result, far from declining, is on the increase, bringing with it suffering for the querulous and disruption to the organizations through which they seek their vision of justice. This article examines querulous behaviour in the vexatious litigant and in abnormally persistent complainants and petitioners.

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The phenomenological and nosological issues are outlined and the risks of the emergence of threatening and violent behaviour is emphasized. Threats should not be ignored, for a variety of reasons. Approaches to managing querulous behaviour in the courts and the complaint organizations are discussed, together with the utility of individual therapy.

Querulous behaviour should once more take its place among the legitimate concerns of mental health professionals. Those caught up in a querulous pursuit of their notion of justice are amenable to management that can ameliorate their suffering and reduce the disruption they create. Abstract Querulous paranoia was once of considerable clinical and academic interest in psychiatry.

Publication types Review.