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Catcher In The Rye: Persistent Depressive Disorder

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Persistent depressive disorder, also called dysthymic disorder, has affected teenagers’ behaviors throughout their lives. In today’s society, teenagers are often misunderstood and adults do not realize the challenges they are already facing until it’s too late. While the fictional character Holden Caulfield, from J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, is a 16-year-old in the year 1946, but is conflicted by the way he feels, dysthymia afflicts young people with chronic feelings of sadness or worthlessness, and an inability to take pleasure and perform well in the activities of daily life (Persistent Depressive Disorder Basics). Holden’s poor performance in school, low self-esteem, sadness, and loneliness are some probabilities that can explain…show more content…
Holden has experienced death in his life at quite a young age, this might the reasons why he mentions death throughout the sessions. He was thirteen at the time, when his brother Allie had passed away of leukemia at the age of eleven on July 18, 1946. Holden was really connected with Allie, he even kept his old baseball mitt with his poetry from four years ago since he has been gone (43). According to Mayo Clinic, life events, such as the loss of a loved one can trigger the persistent disorder in some people. This might explain how after many years of having Allie gone from his life, Holden can not overcome the fact that Allie is dead, he says, “I couldn’t stand it. I know it’s only his body and all that’s in the cemetery, and his soul’s in Heaven and all that crap, but I couldn’t stand it anyway” (172). Throughout the sessions, Holden has been experiencing depressive behaviors and in the next paragraph, I am going to discuss the causes and symptoms of persistent depressive disorder with…show more content…
Holden has experienced most of these symptoms in some way throughout the three-day period, on page 75 he indicates himself as the “dumb one in the family” this says about himself that he has low self-esteem, he doesn’t think of himself highly. Furthermore, Holden had made troubling decisions in these sessions, he got into a situation that leads him to get beaten up by a pimp who wanted five more dollars for the prostitute Holden got, he punched him in his stomach (115). After that, Holden got really depressed and thought about death, “What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window” (116-117). The main factor I believe that caused this disorder is the loss of a loved one after Holden found out about the death of Allie, he went on a rampage by breaking all the windows in the garage the night he died, he broke the windows with his fist (44). Since then, Holden hasn’t been quite the same, he has experienced quite a few of these symptoms over the course of these
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