Diagnosing Holden By: Eric Troxell


The Catcher In The Rye, a novel by J.D Salinger, originally published in July of 1951. Is a story about sixteen year old Holden Caulfield, who tells a story about a certain period in his life. This this certain period consists of him getting expelled from school, and dealing with his own personal issues. During the story Holden shows signs of depression. One part of the story where Holden shows this sign is where he talks about his brother Allie's death, he shows emotion and puts in a lot of detail of his feelings, details that a normal person would normally leave out.


Depression. Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It affects how you feel and think and can affect how you go about your daily life. Some symptoms of depression include feelings of hopelessness and pessimism, irritability, feeling of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness, Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, and thoughts of death, suicide or suicide attempts. Holden shows some of these symptoms in the book.

Holden's Symptoms

Holden shows that he has a feeling of worthlessness when he is deciding weather or not to call someone. He expresses his feeling of worthlessness when he says " What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of good-by. I mean I've left schools and places I didn't even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don't care if it's a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I'm leaving it. If you don't, you feel even worse". (1.8) this quote shows that Holden feels as if nobody cares about him or anything he has to say.


In conclusion, Holden has depression. Some signs that proved that Holden was depressed were the fact that he felt worthless at the point where he wanted to call someone just to talk to someone but didn't do it because he felt that nobody cared about him. and the fact that he drinks and smokes regularly to relive some of his stress.

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