Bipolar Disorder In Catcher In The Rye

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Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a common mental disorder that is caused by genetics, the environment, brain structure, and chemistry. Bipolar disorder can often be misdiagnosed in teenagers since they are going through changes in their body and mind. One could see mood swings in a teenager and make the mistake of thinking he or she is going through normal changes. However, if one looks deeper into Holden’s character, one realizes that his mood swings, along with his excessive desire for sexual experiences, are actually symptoms of bipolar disorder. The first warning sign of his mental condition is when he buys Sunny, the prostitute, for the night. Although Holden feels ready to get his first time over with, when Sunny takes…show more content…
He shows signs of depression, PTSD, OCD, bipolar disorder, and the beginning stages of anxiety and anger issues. From the beginning of the book, one can see that he different than other characters who have similar characteristics. He is “in that unhappy phase of life, that transitional stage, where he has outgrown the relatively well-ordered world of his childhood and must find his way in the world of adults” (Bungert). This is important considering that many people get diagnosed with mental illnesses when they are in their teenage years. His struggles for getting out of childhood is a stressor for his mind. At the end of the novel, when Holden is finished telling his story, he says that he could probably tell us about how he got sick. He also acknowledges “the one psychoanalyst guy they have [there]” who asks if he is going to start applying himself (234). The fact that there is someone analyzing his behavior is a clear indicator that he shows signs of mental illnesses. Holden dodges any questions about his feelings of what happened to him because he does not know how to feel. The psychoanalyst also asks Holden if he is going to start applying himself in school more, but Holden does not fully answer the question. Not being able to apply oneself and losing interest are both signs of mental illnesses. These could lead to a person eventually dropping of out school, which is what Holden essentially does after getting kicked out and making his plan to move
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