Diagnosing Holden Luke Mason

Introduction

The book catcher in the Rye, by J.D Salinger is an story of rebellion. Written in 1951, the story is about a rebellious teen named Holden Caulfield. He goes around New York looking for things to do. In Salinger's book, The Catcher In the Rye, Holden Caulfield experiences depression through the symptoms of physical ailment and thoughts of suicide.

Physical Ailment

The first symptom of depression Holden experiences is unexplained physical Ailments. In a list of depression symptoms it is stated, "Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or do not ease with treatment" (NIMH). Holden experiences these symptoms many times in the book. One such example is when he is at Mr. Antonili's, "I had a headache and felt lousy. I even had sort of a stomach-ache, if you want to know the truth" (Salinger 184). In the book, this sickness surges out of nowhere.. It is never explained as to why Holden feels this way. This does not happen in the normal person. Which leads me to believe this unexplained sickness is a symptom of depression.

Thoughts of suicide

Another symptom that Holden experiences in the book is thoughts of suicide. A article talking about depression lists, "Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts" (NIMH) as a symptom of depression. Holden experiences this many times during throughout the book. It is clearly stated and is very obvious. After being beaten by Maurice the book states, "What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window" (Salinger 104). This type of action is not the norm for teenagers. He should be thinking of school and friends, not suicide. His thoughts of suicide is most likely do to depression. Probably because of his younger brothers death still on Holden's mind.

Conclusion

In Salinger's book, The Catcher In the Rye, Holden Caulfield experiences depression through the symptoms of physical ailment and thoughts of suicide. Holden's sickness is unexplained in some parts of the book without a cause, such as at Mr. Antonili's. His thoughts of suicide are spread throughout the entire book and a major reason I believe Holden is facing depression. He thinks about suicide after being beaten up by Maurice. Most likely these symptoms are because of Allie's death which has caused him to be depressed.

Works Cited

National Institute of Mental Health. "Depression." National Institutes of Health, Oct. 2016, http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml. Accessed 07 Feb. 2017.

Salinger, J. D., E. Michael Mitchell, and Lotte Jacobi. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 1951. Print.

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Created with images by geralt - "burnout exhausted alone" • Martin Hesketh - "Death"

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