Effects Of Mental Illness In Holden Caulfield

1486 Words 6 Pages
In the twentieth century, mental health was not regarded with the amount of importance as it is today. People did not prioritize mental health as much as it is today, often resulting in the overlooking of people struggling with mental illness. Albeit this, over the past decade, mental health has become and increasingly supported and viewed issue and topic of resolution, most specifically among youth. Nowadays, there are many services, ideas and places to go for help with mental illness and the immense stigma around it is beginning to fade. The novel The Catcher in the Rye was written by J. D. Salinger in the beginning of the twentieth century and deals with an adolescent male who struggles with mental illness. The protagonist, Holden Caulfield, …show more content…
The counselling and treatment program as well as the cognitive behavioural therapy offered by this organization would be extremely beneficial to Holden as he struggles with depression. While in alone in New York, late at night, Holden meets a man in the elevator who offers to sell him a prostitute. Although he would normally decline, Holden decides to agree with the man and have a prostitute sent to his room. As he makes his decision, Holden thinks, “It was against my principles and all, but I was feeling so depressed I didn’t even think….When you’re feeling very depressed, you can’t even think” (Salinger 119). This illustrates that while Holden has the inherent knowledge not to order a prostitute to his room, he ends up doing so anyways because he is overthrown by his emotions, not allowing him to think clearly. At this point, Holden could have been helped by the Canadian Mental Health Association as one of the programs that is offered by the organization, Counselling and Treatment for Depression and Anxiety, aids in improving the symptoms of mental illness, such as depression, as well as developing coping methods for the affected individual. To add, another situation when Holden could have used the help of the Canadian Mental Health Association occurs after Holden spends the night drinking. The next morning, Holden wakes up extremely hungover and decides that he’d “feel better if [he] had something to eat”(255). Consequently, Holden attempts to eat some doughnuts and drink coffee, but he finds himself incapable of eating the doughnuts, stating he “couldn’t swallow them too well” (255). Moreover, Holden continues, stating “The thing is, if you get really depressed about something, it’s hard as hell to swallow”(255). This demonstrates that Holden cannot cope with his depression, resulting in the inability to eat; a simple task that everyone must do to

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