Holden Caulfield And PTSD In The Catcher In The Rye

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Holden Caulfield, the main protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye, is regarded throughout the book with many emotional and social issues. Holden is affected mentally from multiple past events and becomes very depressed, which leads to suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is a mental health condition that is triggered from past events that terrify the victim. Holden Caulfield suffers from PTSD because he experiences a horrifying past event that creates many symptoms similar to the PTSD symptoms. Allie dying from cancer, started affecting Holden’s emotions and actions throughout the book. “Some people may even experience some PTSD symptoms such as nightmares, memories about the event, or problems sleeping at night” (Tull). …show more content…

Someone would be diagnosed with PTSD if they respond to the traumatic event with many different symptoms and that the symptoms have affected the person's life in some shape or form. “To receive a diagnosis of PTSD, you only need a certain number of symptoms from each cluster. Additional requirements for the diagnosis also need to be assessed, such as how the person initially responded to the traumatic event, how long the symptoms have been experienced, and the extent with which those symptoms interfere with a person's life” (Tull). This explains that for someone to be diagnosed with PTSD, someone must be having symptoms from a past event that interfere with a person’s life, which have lasted for more than a month. Holden has experienced these symptoms since the time he knocked out all the windows in garage, the day Allie died. “I was only thirteen, and they were going to have me psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all the windows in the garage” (Salinger 38). This illustrates that Holden has had many flashbacks related to Allie’s death that have lasted for over four years, which makes him liable for the diagnosis of PTSD. Another symptom of PTSD that Holden encounters is increase of alcohol usage. “The symptoms of PTSD are difficult to cope with, and they often lead people to use more unhealthy ways of coping, such as alcohol or drug use” (Tull). This quote from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder expert, Matthew Tull; demonstrates that some symptoms of of PTSD lead to alcohol or drug use. “‘Bring me a Coke.’ He started to go away, but I called him back. ‘Can’tcha stick a little rum in it or something?’ I asked him. I asked him very nicely and all” (Salinger 69). This revealed that from the effects of the symptoms, Holden has been drinking and asking for alcohol in a suave way. Holden experiences the same symptoms that are described in the article like drinking and

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