Querulance: what it is, characteristics and treatment

  • Aug 24, 2022
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Querulance: what it is, characteristics and treatment

When someone makes you feel bad, it is normal that it affects you. In certain situations, it may happen that beliefs and interpretations about a moment are stronger than the situation itself. In these cases, there are people who present a problem that is difficult to approach, since the structure of their thought is extremely intense.

For this reason, thoughts associated with situations that are considered unfavorable are quickly strengthened. However, this can bring about a set of problems that interfere in the development of activities everyday. For this reason, in this Psychology-Online article, we will provide you with information about the querulancia: what it is, characteristics and treatment.

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  1. What is querulance
  2. Characteristics of a person with querulant disorder
  3. Complaint and judicial psychology
  4. Complaint treatment

What is querulence?

According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy[1], the meaning of the word querulancia is linked to a

attitude of suspicion, mistrust, discontent, oppositionist, accompanied by manifestations of irritability or anger, of people who feel surprised in their good faith, misunderstood or upset. It can be accompanied by delusional ideas, based on these attitudes, which are accompanied by threats, litigation or complaints in defense of rights that are believed to be injured.

In more concrete words, querulancia is a a person's reaction to the feeling that an injustice has been committed against them. This gives rise to some subsequent actions that try to compensate for the disgust experienced.

It is necessary to distinguish the origin of the word from the psychiatric perspective, since there are important differences. When we refer to the psychiatric point of view, querulancia could be placed within the group of paranoid personality disorder from the DSM-V[2] because of the qualities it possesses. Furthermore, it is possible to set the diagnostic criteria presented in this clinical picture:

  • Intense mistrust and suspicion of others, such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent.
  • It usually begins during the period of adulthood.
  • Long-lasting persistent pattern.
  • Suspicion without a sufficient basis of damage to others.
  • Unjustified concerns about the loyalty and trust of others.
  • Little predisposition to trust other people.
  • Resentment persistent.
  • Deterioration in the area of ​​social, family and work relationships.
  • The alterations are not produced by the inference of another psychiatric condition or by the intake of toxic substances and/or medications.

Characteristics of a person with querulant disorder.

Given the conditions that querulant presents, it is possible to distinguish certain characteristics of a person with querulant disorder. Next, we show you the characteristic traits of the querulant personality:

  • permanent distrust against the actions, emotions and thoughts of other people.
  • Claiming actions against the interpretation of damage caused by others.
  • sense of grandeur in everyday situations.
  • Beliefs that people have attitudes that harm them.
  • Certainty that others have bad intentions and they will cause damage.
  • Omnipotence.
  • distorted perception of reality.
  • Feeling of permanent injustice.

Despite the description just made, it should be noted that the presence of one or more symptoms in isolation does not necessarily represent a pattern of complaint. The clinical evaluation of a mental health professional is necessary to determine the diagnosis of each particular case.

If you want to better understand this clinical picture, we recommend you read this article on why there are distrustful people and how to deal with them.

Querulant: what is it, characteristics and treatment - Characteristics of a person with querulant disorder

Querulancia and judicial psychology.

The difficulties derived from the querulancia can be transferred to the judicial field. It is possible that the presence of this personality disorder prevents the development of work activities to the people who suffer from it.

In this sense, situations occur in which an individual constantly claims facts that, from his point of view of reality, can be considered harmful. Given these manifestations, the intervention of judicial psychology becomes necessary to solve these conflicts in a cordial way.

Complaint treatment.

Although the querulancia brings with it a large number of complications in daily life, there are approaches that have proven to have good efficacy and efficiency against these diagnoses. In the following items, we will show you which are the most effective treatments to deal with cases of querulancia:

  • psychological therapy:beyond the complexity that these pictures entail due to the rigidity of the ideas they manifest, the therapy psychology can provide some tools to make the daily life of people with quarrelsomeness
  • psychiatric medication: In cases of considerable severity, the supply of psychoactive drugs aimed at reducing the intensity of the symptoms of the querulancia is considered a good option. However, the use of psychiatric medications should be done under the supervision of a mental health professional.

This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to Querulance: what it is, characteristics and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Clinical psychology.


  1. Royal Spanish Academy. (2014). Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (23rd edition). Madrid: Espasa Books.
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: Pan American Medical Publisher.


  • Ten Patrick, A. (2003). Psychopathology of delusional interpretation. Journal of the Spanish Association of Neuropsychiatry, 87 (1), 2484-2498.
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