Holden Caulfield Mental Analysis

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Holden Caulfield Is Mental Roughly three percent of the United States population, approximately 314,341,830 people, suffers from bipolar disorder. Holden Caulfield, from Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, has bipolar II disorder. This particular disorder is when an individual displays two extreme demeanors, yet not at persistent levels as shown in bipolar I disorders. This novel was written during an era that did not acknowledge mental illness very often; therefore Holden did not have the tools at his disposal to learn healthy coping mechanisms. Holden exhibits two polar opposites of depressive and hypomanic episodes, resulting in a diagnosis of bipolar II disorder. Throughout The Catcher in the Rye Holden experiences frequent episodes that are hypomanic. According to Psych Central, a hypomanic episode “is an emotional state characterized by a distinct period of persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting throughout at least four days”. An illustration of one of Holden’s episodes occurs during his date with Sally on a Sunday afternoon. “Old Sally kept saying, ‘I know that boy from …show more content…

As a result of Holden having two extremes that are a component of his personality, he has bipolar II disorder. Throughout the novel, Holden presents signs of hypomania, because of his irritability towards others, while also speaking rapidly and having difficulty sleeping. When Holden has had minimal food to eat, has feelings of depression, and most notably when he has pondered death, is another extreme of his personality. There are numerous occasions that Holden experiences both emotions simultaneously. Since Holden encounters levels of depression and hypomania, bipolar II disorder is a more accurate diagnosis than depression. If Holden had gotten the therapy he needed, he might not have been a part of the almost three percent with bipolar II

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