Jean Pierre Falret

Jean-Pierre Falret (1794 - 1870)

Jean-Pierre Falret (1794 – 1870) was a French psychiatrist.

Falret studied depression and suicide for 32 years and recorded cycles of depression and of elation which he named maladie circulaire and which is more commonly termed bipolar disorder

  • Born 26 April 1794, Marseille
  • 1838 – Promoted a law aimed at restoring the civic rights of the mentally ill
  • 1841 – Founded la Société de Patronage
  • Died 28 October 1870

La personne souffrant de troubles de santé mentale est d’abord une personne, sujet de droit et de devoir, capable d’intelligence et de progrès, qui a toute sa place dans le monde.

Jean-Pierre Falret, 1841

The person suffering from mental health problems is first and foremost a person, subject of right and duty, capable of intelligence and progress, who has his place in the world.

Jean-Pierre Falret, 1841

Medical Eponyms
Falret syndrome (1854) [aka maladie de Farlet]

Psychiatric disorder defined by more than one episode of mania (hypomania; acute delirious mania) and one of depression. Transition between the two states is usually fluid, however a period normal mental state between phases may occur.


Lasègue-Falret syndrome (1877) [*aka Folie à deux] was first described by Ernest-Charles Lasègue (1816 – 1883) and Falret’s son… Jules Philippe Falret (1824-1902)…in 1877, 7 years after the death of Jean-Pierre Falret (1794 – 1870)

Major Publications


BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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