The literary exposition of abulia in Pío Baroja’s early novels, especially La lucha por la vida trilogy, illuminates the ways in which diagnostic language from psychopathology was adapted, assimilated, and disseminated through the trajectories of fictional characters who suffer from a loss of volition. This article analyzes cultural narratives about abulia in Baroja’s early fiction, demonstrating that they constitute a resonant pathological metaphor during a period in Spain’s history defined by national introspection and regenerationist debates. By tracing metaphorical explanations for social, political, and economic circumstances conveyed through the literary appropriation of medical terminology, this study explores comparisons between abulia and the gendered and class-based associations of neurasthenia at the turn of the twentieth century. Although the assumed causes of each condition are different, this process of transposition between medicine and metaphor anticipates the contemporary social, cultural, and ideological shaping of concepts such as stress and burnout.