Holden Caulfield Mental Illness Essay

In the book Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger the main character Holden Caulfield is sent to a mental institution due to the emotional devastation his brother, Allie 's, death had caused him. Cares about his brother so much that he isolated himself from society and his family who put him in the mental institution. Mental institutions continue to advance to help people like Holden Caulfield overcome mental disorders. Mental institutions were created for the reason to help people who have mental disturbances or mental disabilities. “The [Mental] Act [2001] defines mental disorder as mental illness, severe dementia, or significant intellectual disability,” (Citizens Information). This is what a mental disorder is considered to be today. “The …show more content…
Techniques used on the mentally ill included insulin induced comas, lobotomies, malarial infections, and electroshock therapy (Dual Diagnosis). These types of treatment were effective for their time and some were cruel. “Some people didn 't seem to get better when they were under the guidance of the so-called talking cure,” (Dual Diagnosis). The talking cure involved communicating how the patient feels and has made its comeback in modern Psychology. “A lot of people, especially this one psychoanalyst guy they have here, keeps asking me if I’m going to apply myself when I go back to school next September,” (Salinger 213). Holden had to talk to a psychoanalyst using the talk cure for his treatment. The book Catcher in the Rye is written is stream of consciousness meaning that Holden is telling to story to the Psychoanalysis. “I’m not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything,” (Salinger 1). Holden doesn’t want to talk to the Psychoanalyst but he tells the Psychoanalyst about the few days leading up to his arrival to the mental institution. In the 1940s and 1950s Doctors started making drugs for calming mental patients and giving them some relief (Dual Diagnosis). These drugs would help the patients by making life for them a bit easier and calming the patients. These drugs continued to advance. The asylums started to change how they were run and how they treated patients because it would help with the improvement of the mental health of their patients. The Friends Asylum was run by a lay staff unlike usual mental institutions that were run by medical doctors and nurses (D’Antonio 2). This was different because now some institutions stopped using medical science to help patients and started using the talking cure, and psychology. A Pennsylvania Hospital made the “Kirkbride Plan” that became very popular for private asylums they could have fresh air,

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