Anhedonia by Thomas A. Ban

The term “anhédonie” with the meaning of “insensibility of relating to pleasure alone” was coined by Théodule-Armand Ribot (Shorter 2005). He introduced the term in 1896, in his book, La Psychologie des Sentiments, to designate a “specific type of depression that was characterized by a passive lack of joy” and “loss of enjoyment and desire” (Crocq 2015). The term, “anhedonia” first appeared in the English language, one year later, in 1897, in the English translation of Ribot’s book.


Crocq M-A. French perspectives on psychiatric classifications. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience 2015; 17: 51-7.

Ribot T-A. La Psychologie des Sentiments. Paris: Felix Alcan; 1896.

Ribot T-A. The Psychology of the Emotions. London: W.Scott; 1897.

Shorter E. A Historical Dictionary of Psychiatry. New York: Oxford University Press; 2005.


Thomas A. Ban

July 9, 2015