Diagnosing Holden by: Aurora conrad

Introduction

In Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Holden suffers from Depression showing symptoms of loss of interest and thoughts of death or suicide. The book was published in July 16, 1951. The main idea is protection of innocence, especially of children. For more than half of the book, Holden sees this as a special thing. It is very closely compared to his difficulty against growing up.

Thoughts of Suicide, Death, and Suicide Attempts

Holden shows some signs of Depression. He thinks about death more than the average person. According to National Institutes of Health, this is not generic. "Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts" (NIMH). These are serious symptoms that Holden shows multiple signs of. For example, "I thought probably I'd get pneumonia and die. I started picturing millions of jerks coming to my funeral and all" (Salinger 154). These examples work together to prove my diagnosis because they both prove Depression. Holden is sitting the park, drunk, by himself and he is having thoughts of death. Then starts to think about his funeral. He says how his aunts, uncles and cousins would come, just like they did to Allie's. That also makes me think he is depressed because he is thinking of his dead brother.

depressed

Loss of Interest or Pleasure in Hobbies and Activities

Holden shows some signs of Depression. He thinks about death more than the average person. This isn't very versatile, and having this illness is difficult to handle. "Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities" (NIMH). Those are some of the symptoms that lead me to believe that Holden is depressed. More evidence from the book will be, "Where I want to start telling is the day I left Pencey Prep" (Salinger 2). These examples work together to prove my diagnoses because Holden shows loss of interest in important things. He failed out of Pencey Prep because he didn't care anymore. Being depression can make you turn your back on things that used to be important. This is exactly what Holden is doing.

Dark, Lonely

Conclusion

In Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Holden suffers from Depression showing symptoms of loss of interest and thoughts of death or suicide. At the end of the book, Holden got treatment for his depression. He has had a rough life, but he got help and is hopefully better.

Work Cited

National Institute of Mental Health. “Depression.” National Institute of Mental Health, Oct. 2016,

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Accessed 7 Feb. 2017.

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

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