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

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

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