The Forensic Phase of Litigious Paranoia

Glueck, B. (1914). The Forensic Phase of Litigious Paranoia“:

“Kraepelin [1904] defines this condition as a mental disorder which is essentially characterized by a gradual and systematic evolution of a well-organized and intricate system of persecutory and grandiose delusions. It is chronic and incurable in its course and does not lead to any appreciable deterioration in the intellectual sphere. The litigious form of this disorder is particularly characterized by a persistent and unyielding tendency toward litigious pursuits. It is for this reason that this form of paranoia is of particular interest forensically. The law is the tool with which these individuals work, and the Courts their battle-grounds. The least provocation suffices to start the stone rolling, launching the unfortunate upon a career of endless litigation. As a rule the disorder originates in connection with some adverse decision or order of the authorities, which the patient considers an unjust one. The paranoiac litigant is unable to see the law as others see it, and in this respect he does not differ greatly from primitive man, whose conception of legality is that of a collection of concessions for himself and prohibitions for others. To be sure, a tendency to excessive litigation is occasionally met with in what appear to be normal people. Such pursuits, however, become pathological when they are based upon a delusional interpretation of actual occurrences or upon actual delusions, and are not amenable to reason.”

Leave a Reply