Holdens Mental Illness

Topics: Bipolar disorder, Mania, Suicide Pages: 2 (741 words) Published: August 26, 2013
Caroline Dillon
5/15/13
Mrs. Lynch
Period 3
While reading The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Claufield suffers from abnormal behavior. It’s safe to say that Holden doesn’t exactly act like a normal teenager does. Holden suffers from bipolar disorder. A mental illness which causes you to be depressed, feeling low and useless, as well as manic behavior that causes him to be sleepless, irrational, and act out with wild behavior. Bipolar disorder can be expressed as a manic-depressive illness. It is characterized by cycling mood changes, severe highs, mania, and severe lows, depression. Sometimes the mood switches are dramatic and rapid, but most often are gradual (edublongs).

Holden's mental health was front and center often, with his thoughts of being crazy, such as when he'd make statements like "I'm crazy, swear to God, I am...". There are also references to mental hospitalization at the beginning and end of the book. Holden has a lot of symptons of this disorder. He suffers from symptoms from little or no need for sleep, difficulty staying on topic when engaged in conversation, bursting with ideas and insight, irritation with people who rationalize with his ideas, excessive spending of money,. These can affect judgment, thinking, and social behavior, in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment (edublongs).

When looking over past events, Holden never goes to deep into his thoughts. He doesnt stay on topic, he jumps from subject to subject. When Holden talks about a time he almost came close to “doing it,” he jumps to a conclusion that leaves him questioning what truly happened. Holden mentions, “One time in particular, I remember. Something went wrong, though-I don’t remember what anymore” (Salinger 92). This shows Holden’s lack of concentration, which is common with people who suffer from bipolar disorder.

Caulfield tries to confirm to Sally Hayes his crazy idea to travel around Massachusetts and Vermont for a few weeks. He decides this plan...
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