diagnosing holden by. Jenn


In J.D Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye published in 1951; Holden, the main character faces many new experiences and difficulties. He learns that being an adult is not that easy. Especial with his personality. Holden doesn't acquaint himself with anyone and with depression life is a struggle for him. Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. In Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Holden suffers from Depression exhibiting symptoms of isolation and suicidal thoughts.


Holden goes through his everyday life with emotions that fluctuate. One minute hes thinking about his childhood and the next wanting to be alone forever. This is isolation. Isolation is "The process or fact of isolating or being isolated" (google). He claims that he hates everyone and they're all phonies, but he knows that he lonely and still chooses to isolate himself. Some examples are when Holden talks about moving away by himself to the west, and also the football game when he chooses to watch from far away instead of with the whole school. Another example is when Holden says "then I went over and laid down on Ely's bed. Boy, did I feel rotten. I felt so damn lonesome." (Salinger.29)

Suicidal thoughts:

Holden pictures and describes himself dead multiple times. One time he describes all the jerks that will be at his funeral because he thinks hes going to get phenomena. Another time is when he was sitting at Pency looking out the window. He contemplates whether or not he'd rather be dead. The last time is when a pimp beat him up for five dollars and he says again he wishes he were dead instead of sitting there crying.


In Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Holden suffers from Depression exhibiting symptoms of isolation and suicidal thoughts. I believe he has depression because of the signs he shows. Such as, isolating himself, even if he is lonely and having many suicidal thoughts. Holden is not only suffering from this disease but is also trying to get through normal life as a teenager.

Works Cited:

Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye. Little, Brown, and Company, 1951.

National Institute of Mental Health. "Depression." National Institution of Mental Health, Oct. 2016, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml


Created with images by jessyrandall - "Catcher in the Rye, Random House, 1951" • 50 Watts - "M. S. Corley, Catcher in the Rye (entry for the 50 Watts' Polish Book Cover Contest)" • ChrisL_AK - "RIP J.D. Salinger (Andy Mangold)"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.