Holden Caulfield And Ptsd In Holden's Catcher In The Rye

Improved Essays
In the novel Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield often pushes people away and gets upset over unusual things. He sometimes gets angry, upset or depressed at for abnormal reasons. Many people push him away in return to his uncommon behaviors. They blame Holden for just being rude but that is not the case. Even though Holden comes off as moody teenager, his post-traumatic stress disorder makes him have abnormal reactions to many situations and people. PTSD can be developed a few months after a traumatic event. Normal reactions to a traumatic event, such as death, can include feeling upset, scared, and disconnected. However, people who cannot get rid of these feelings have developed PTSD (“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)” Helpguide.org). …show more content…
After Allie dies and Holden develops his PTSD, he is constantly depressed by the loss of his brother. “I felt so depressed, you can’t imagine. What I did, I started talking, sort of out loud, to Allie. I do that sometimes when I get very depressed” (Salinger 110). When he references Allie this is a direct sign of his struggle to deal with his death. Holden’s depression is very common for someone who has developed PTSD. It often causes people to not be able to experience happiness and positivity. It may also cause a the person to lose interest in things that they once enjoyed. (“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)” mayoclinic.org). “Almost every time somebody gives me a present, it ends up making me sad” (Salinger 58). Normally, presents make people feel very happy but, due to Holden’s PTSD, it makes him depressed. Holden associates presents with memories of Allie so it makes him feel sad whenever he gets a present. PTSD can also cause “ flashbacks”, “sense of limited future” and “feelings of mistrust” (“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)” Helpguide.org). Holden recalls Allie’s death and thinks back frequently (Salinger 104). After Allie died, Holden becomes depressed and loses some hope. “I never seemed to have anything that if I lost I’d care too much about” (Salinger 104). Holden says this after reflecting upon Allie’s death. His PTSD is the reason for these thoughts. Holden’s …show more content…
In the end, he returns home and is sent to a mental institution to get help. When Holden is talking to the psychoanalyst, he refers to what he felt as “madman stuff” (Salinger 1). By referring to himself as a “madman” this shows that Holden knew something was wrong and unusual. The feelings he is implying to are his depression and other symptoms caused by his PTSD. Finding a therapist to talk to and help is one of the most effective ways to get over a PTSD (“Treatment of PTSD”). Eventually, Holden talks with a therapist at the mental institution. He tells him about the “madman stuff” he experienced in New York (Salinger 234). He struggles throughout his journey and many of these struggles are the result of PTSD. Dealing with the past can be hard and especially difficult with PTSD (“Treatment of PTSD”). Through therapy, Holden is able to partly get over his PTSD. Holden mentions he is going back to school next fall. This shows that Holden has gotten over his PTSD enough to go back to school and start building relationships again. He starts to miss his old friends like Ackley and Stradlater (Salinger 234). Although, Holden suffered through the unusual effect of PTSD, he was able to get

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Negative emotional responses in the subiculum can lead to intensified feelings such as fear and anxiety, which can cause people to turn to drugs and alcohol. First of all, these affects on the regions in the brain, which are due to neglect, makes stress overpowering to the individual. Throughout the novel, Holden does not have someone he can depend on to be there for him. People are in and out of his life due to his continuous school changes. His absent parents make living in the city alone almost unbearable for Holden.…

    • 1526 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    They cannot control the disease and the disease keeps torturing them. There are two sides of a coin. We have heard a lot of the stories from depression patients, so we are scared. As a recovered patient myself, I did learn a lot of things during the depression. Depression is mostly caused by pressure, so you will have to find ways to cure yourself from depression.…

    • 1088 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Holden suffers from PTSD after his brother is harmed by cancer and his death takes on a large roll in Holden’s mental health problems. Holden’s suffering continues throughout his life with the trauma that affected him early on. Holden faces traumatic factors that lead to recurrent memories that tear him apart mentally. When Holden speaks of being…

    • 1135 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    This can be seen as a loss of interest in activities that he may have enjoyed, or just bothered to do before Allie’s death. Another strong clue is how often Holden describes aspects of his life as being depressing. “When I finally got down off the radiator and went out to the hat check room, I was crying and all. I don’t know why, but I was. I guess it was because I was feeling so damn depressed and lonesome.” (Salinger 100) In fact, he uses the word about fifty times to describe either himself or experiences that make him feel this way.…

    • 2075 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Kurt Cobain Depression

    • 1119 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Some forms of depression are chronic, meaning they last years, maybe even until the person dies. “Her intuition was correct. Brittany was found dead at home, leaving a note that Angela described as ‘very angry about being alive.” (Whitney 84) When people are depressed they lose all hope, they panic, and revert to things like self-harm. Everybody goes through pain in their life, and depressed people do not have coping skills, making it more likely to hurt themselves. Most people have heard of depression from some point of their life, but most misunderstand it and hurt depressed people.…

    • 1119 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Based on the packet given to us and clues from The Catcher in the Rye, you can tell that Holden is suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress disorder. Holden is very depressed throughout the story, loses interest, and is very easily startled. These are some of the many symptoms of PTSD and once his brother Allie died I feel that it discouraged Holden from living his life and being a normal teenager with normal…

    • 636 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Marxism In Holden

    • 1161 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Which answers why he lacks from social interaction, and his trouble adjusting in society, his fear to connect with people and fear to lose them, and for seeing his future as meaningless. As everyone at least once in their life experiences a trauma, but most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. However some people continue to experience problems, like Holden . That 's why Holden is diagnosed with…

    • 1161 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Throughout the text Charlies mental states deteriorates, his thoughts are become darker and more concerning, his actions become unnecessarily risky. With everything going on, his overthinking, Sam leaving, and the emerging memories of childhood, he cannot handle it physically or mentally anymore. He shuts down and breaks down, and everything just crumbles around him. Depression has had a massive impact on Charlie’s life, and it continues to even after he starts to recover, it really is one of those things that will stay with a person…

    • 1108 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Holden embodies the loss of his brother so strongly it drove him into depression. That experience and suffering has matured him, to a point that has forced him to become isolated. Holden is empathetic and sensitive enough to actually be aware of the true deepness of grief. It’s because of this, when he looks at materialistic and shallow teens like Stradlater, and Ackley, it's no wonder Holden calls them “phonies”. Holden says, “ I felt like giving somebody a buzz… but as soon as I was inside, I couldn't think of anybody to call up.…

    • 607 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Antisocial personality disorder often extends to “poor work, law, and school records… it is chiefly characterized by flagrant disregard for the law, and a refusal to conform to the rules and norms of society” ("Sociopathic Personality”). An unsafe practice that Holden committed in the novel was when he lead himself to expulsion from his school. He says, “[Holden] forgot to tell you about that. They kicked [Holden] out. [Holden] wasn’t supposed to come back” (Salinger 6).…

    • 1334 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays