How Does Holden Caulfield Bipolar Disorder (2023)

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Twenty percent of teenagers with major depression develop bipolar disorder within 5 years. (“Bipolar Disorder Statistics”). Bipolar disorder is defined as a brain disorder that causes unusual mood swings, activity level, and unable to carry out daily activities. (“Bipolar disease”). The Catcher in the Rye is a novel written by J.D Salinger. Salinger introduces Holden Caulfield, who is a 16 year old boy struggling to find happiness in the world. Holden displays symptoms of Bipolar disorder when he has mood swings and is unable to carry out daily activities. It is assumed that Holden is telling his story and what happened in his life to a psychiatrist. Holden himself does not know who he really is and is trying to search for self. In The…show more content…
(“Bipolar Disease”). One of the symptoms Holden displays is his change in behavior Holden was the type of guy who is always mean and negative and not helping out other people. “ They always looked mossy and awful, and he damn near made you sick if you saw him…”(Salinger 19). But he shows symptoms of bipolar disorder when he starts helping out other people which he never does. Lack of sleep and depression may trigger sudden mood swings. (“Mood swings and Bipolar disorder”). Holden at this point has not got enough sleep at all throughout the book which caused him to have mood swings. Changing in eating behaviors and sleeping is one of the main points in behavior changing. (“Bipolar Disorder”). Holden not eating shows that having behavioral changes is a one of the major symptoms of Bipolar disorder. Holden does not eat throughout most of the book because he states that he have not been hungry and so he forgot to eat. “I had quite a large breakfast, for me- orange juice, bacon, and eggs, toast and coffee… Usually i just drink some orange juice. I'm a very light eater.” (Salinger 107). Although change in behavior is one of the major symptoms of bipolar disorder, Holden also displays having suicidal…show more content…
( “Leading Causes of Death Ages 1 – 85+ in the U.S.”) Another symptom of Bipolar disease that Holden display is suicidal thoughts. Holden was not a person that would usually say that he is sad, happy or negative but he was starting to show signs of depression and him having suicidal thoughts. “ I felt like jumping out the window. I probably would have done it too if i had been sure somebody would cover me up as soon as I landed.” (Salinger 104). Multiple times in the book, Holden has talked about him wanting to die. Suicidal thoughts is one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Holden never expressed his feelings of how he felt, but after he started to show that he was depressed, he was having suicidal thoughts also. Signs of having suicidal behavior are abusing drugs or alcohol, feeling hopelessness, and doing dangerous or life threatening things. (“Bipolar Disorder Emergencies and Suicide Prevention”). Multiple times in the novel, Holden abuses alcohol even though he is not at the legal age to drink. “Boy, I sat at that goddam bar till around one o'clock or so, getting drunk as a bastard...I could hardly see straight...When I'm drunk I'm a madman." (Salinger 150-151). Holden shows symptoms of Bipolar disorder because he has suicidal thoughts, but also he shows symptoms of the disorder when he has


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    Holden, the protagonist of the Catcher in the Rye often makes decisions under the influence of his problematic emotions and caught himself into many rough and self-harming situations. In the first place, Holden made self-harming decisions under the emotion of anger and sadness when his brother passed away "I slept in the garage the night he died, and I broke all the goddam windows with my fist, just for the hell of it (21)." Holden is making idiotic decisions under the influence of anger and sadness and caused himself a lifelong injury. Similarly, later in the Catcher in the Rye Holden again makes another decision under his emotion of jealousy about Stradlater 's date with Jane. Holden relentlessly insulted Stradlater, driving him crazy until

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    577 Words |3 Pages

    To begin, Holden has bipolar disorder. According to Mayo Clinic, Bipolar Disorder, previously called manic depression, is a disorder that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs and lows. A major sign or symptom is depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, such as feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or tearful (“Bipolar Disorder”). Holden portrays the symptoms throughout the novel. “ Then I went over and laid down on Ely’s bed. Boy, did I feel rotten. I felt so damn lonesome” (Salinger ___). Holden usually feels lonely and depressed throughout the novel. Bipolar Disorder and Depression almost mean the same thing. Mayo Clinic says, “Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. "So I went in this very cheap-looking restaurant and had doughnuts and coffee. Only, I didn't eat the doughnuts. I couldn't swallow them too well. The thing is, if you get very

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    740 Words |3 Pages

    A study found that “53,920” (Friedman,2) women in sweden had a form of mental illness. This shows that almost every person can have or obtain some sort of mental illness and that they should receive the proper treatment for it. Another reason on why it's not Holden's fault that he's alienated is that his family has pushed him away for so many years, by moving him to boarding school after boarding schools like pencey prep the only people in his family that cared for him are his little sister phoebe and his little brother allie. Holden speaks so highly of his little sister because he realizes that she's the only one that currently cares for him. “Holden!’ she said right away. She put her arms around my neck and all, she’s very affectionate, for a child…” (Salinger, 161) this shows that Phoebe is genuinely happy to see Holden she's the only one that didn't push him away, adding to his mental illness making him feel like no one wanted him, no one in his family saw the signs of depression in Holden so they couldn't treat the young boy so it wouldn't lead to where he is, right now Holden is currently abusing drugs and alcohol and he's even tried to solicit a

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    576 Words |3 Pages

    “Holden Caulfield holds a place in the American psyche akin to Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer: an exquisitely rendered character with whom nearly anyone can identify” (Perle). In the year 1946, the book “Catcher in the Rye” was published. The story is about a boy named Holden Caulfield, who shows many signs indicative of mental disorder throughout the book. A few of these problems are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and depression.

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    During High school many students struggle with grades and what they want to be when they are older. Holden Caulfield doesn’t worry about these things. He doesn’t apply himself in school which causes him to be kicked out repeatedly. Throughout the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Sallinger Holden struggles with depression and mental breakdowns. When Holden gets kicked out of his current school, Pencey, he decides to leave a few days early to spend a few days in New York City alone. During the trip Holden experiences many events that cause him to have mental breakdowns. Holden’s mental breakdowns with his fight with Stradilator, date with Sally and crying episode in the rain eventually lead to an appointment with a psychologist.

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  • How Is Holden Caulfield Mental Illness

    1737 Words |7 Pages

    In the novel The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger, the main character and protagonist (all though at times, he is his own antagonist) is Holden Caulfield. Throughout the novel Holden exhibits many characteristic of different mental illnesses including the likes of depression and anxiety, along with various others. Holden is obviously suffering from mental illness(es), in a variety of forms. Three major examples include him imagining all different scenarios and constantly telling lies, his loneliness and how he pushes people away from him {doesn't let people get close to him}, and his suicidal thoughts. At times Holden also doesn't remember things “so hot” and seems to be getting sick. Holden Caulfield is a sixteen year old boy who has

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  • How Is Holden Caulfield A Selfish Character

    720 Words |3 Pages

    Throughout the novel, Holden makes many rash decisions that greatly affect his life negatively. From the book, “The next part I don't remember so hot. All I know is I got up from the bed, like I was going down to the can or something, and then I tried to sock him, with all my might, right smack in the toothbrush, so it would split his goddam throat open” (Salinger 43). Holden tries to punch his roommate, Stradlater, out of jealousy because he thinks he slept with a girl he liked. Another example, “One of the biggest reasons I left Elkton Hills was because I was

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  • Examples Of Bipolar In Catcher In The Rye

    820 Words |4 Pages

    The Catcher In The Rye is a very controversial book that revolves around the adolescence of Holden Caulfield who speaks to the reader directly from a mental hospital or sanitarium in southern California. We find this out at the end of the book which gives a definite answer that he does have a disorder. Holden deals with many mind states which led me to believe that he is bipolar. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes, severe highs, mania, and severe lows, depression. Throughout the story we see that holden shows many symptoms of bipolar disorder.

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  • Holden's Depression In The Catcher In The Rye

    1762 Words |8 Pages

    Throughout the novel Holden expresses his feeling of deep sadness to the reader. Holden’s sadness is being triggered by small incidents that occur in his daily life. Holden’s inability to function within his society without feeling a rush of deep sadness shows that he is emotionally damaged. For example, when Holden went to the bar for a drink he was disgusted by the audience clapping for the excellent piano player that he believed was phony, he states, “I partly blame all these dopes that clap their heads off--they’d foul up anybody, if you gave them a chance. Anyway, it made me feel depressed and lousy again, and I damn near got my coat back and went back to the hotel, but it was too early and I didn’t feel much like being alone,” (Salinger 95). The way Holden overreacts about the crowd clapping to the point where he gets depressed it shows his suffering of psychological problems. The depression that he suffers from affects his thoughts and the emotional feelings he suffers from are not normal adolescent emotional behaviors. Holden finds himself drinking away his pain, or attempts to over the smallest incidents that occur in his life. Several times throughout the novel, his thoughts get too much for him he wishes he was dead. The unhealthy thoughts of this adolescent boy indicates that his thoughts are being influenced by his

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  • How Does Holden Present Depression In Catcher In The Rye

    773 Words |4 Pages

    In J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, the character Holden shows the symptoms of depression. Holden is kicked out of boarding school multiple times and is unable to make meaningful connections with others because he thinks they are all phonies. Holden’s negative attitude and inability to deal with his brother’s death cause many of his problems. Holden Caulfield is extremely lonely, often thinks about suicide, and drinks excessively.

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  • Examples Of Depression In Catcher In The Rye

    1567 Words |7 Pages

    Depression. Alienation. Loneliness. Depression sets off a chain reaction of alienation and loneliness that causes people to make bad decisions. In the book, Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger explores the topic of mental health. The main character, Holden Caulfield, tells a story about the decisions he made at a certain point of his life. Throughout the book, Holden shows many signs of depression, alienation and loneliness. He acts out differently and always feels hatred for the world. The state of his mental health stopped him from making smart decisions but he also alienated himself which then caused his loneliness. Holden Caulfield went through a chain reaction of depression throughout the book which provoked a bad mental health

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    The cause of depression can vary from many aspects such as a devastating loss or a terrible incident. Depression is neither inevitable nor a character flaw, however the emotional pain, a persistent feeling of anger and sadness, is demonstrated through the protagonist in J.D Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield, the young teenager in the novel, struggles with several tragic experiences that contributes to his depression. Holden Caulfield’s depressive state of mind causes him to isolate himself from society and serves as a primary reason for his difficulty dealing with others. Initially, Holden is prohibited from attending Pencey Prep due to his poor academic grades. As a result, this causes Holden’s manic and uncontrollable behaviors, as he tries to cope with his problems

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