Holden Caulfield Mental Illness Analysis

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The Catcher in The Rye by JD Salinger illustrates the journey of Holden Caulfield, the main character who travels the bumpy roads of adolescence into the daunting world of adulthood. Holden experiences many trials and tribulations of the real world as the adults in his life try to guide him onto the right path. Although others around Holden want to help him, he acts in irrational ways making it hard for them to alleviate his issues. Thus his decisions only make his condition of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder even worse. Because of Holden’s self alienating tendencies, and the depression that he gets due to the death of his brother Allie, his questionable words and actions can be understood and explained. Holden self alienates…show more content…
This clearly shows about the importance of Allie in Holden’s life and how the death of him would affect him for a very long time with the depression he gets soon after. As Well as the death of Holden’s brother, the depression that lingers long after these events dictate Holden 's words and actions. In the article Understanding the impact of stigma on people with mental illness, Patrick W Corrigan and Amy C Watson states, “ Many people with serious mental illness are challenged doubly. On one hand, they struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease… people with mental illness are robbed of the opportunities that define a quality life”. As mentioned in the article, Holden’s depression challenges him greatly as shown in his interactions with other people. In addition to his interactions, he acts capriciously and carelessly as also shown in his conversations with Sally. He is struggling to live his life with the disabilities that come with his disease which dictates his words and actions in turn, takes opportunities of a good life away from him including love, an education, and healthy…show more content…
Although this argument sounds logical, there is a social barrier between people with depression and normal people. In the article Understanding the impact of stigma on people with mental illness, Patrick W Corrigan and Amy C Watson states, “ Although stigmatizing attitudes are not limited to mental illness, the public seems to disapprove persons with psychiatric disabilities significantly more than persons with related conditions such as physical illness”. The main idea here is that people with mental illness including depressed people are stigmatized in a way that makes someone want to distance themselves from this person. Although Holden does not really show his depression to many others around him, he eventually will to the ones closest to him and with the stigma about mental illness in mind, said person would most likely break ties with him, leaving Holden with another person he will be broken over which would bring him even deeper into the rabbit hole. This is why Holden can not just get over it but instead must fix his issues beforehand with a professional and that is when he can leave behind his defense mechanism of self isolation and connect with
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