Understanding Holden Through PTSD Symptoms

One Johns Hopkins Examine determined that 81% of young adults have been exposed to a distressing event, while 8% regarding those exposed have developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“Blog”). The signs and symptoms of PTSD can be divided into three groupings: intrusive, avoidance, and hyperarousal (“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”). Mental trauma of exactly this kind often appears after the particular death of a loved one. Holden Caulfield, typically the protagonist of T he Catcher within the Rye , is drastically influenced after the deaths of his younger brother and of a school friend. Inside J. D. Salinger’s story, it is clearly shown of which the terrible events Holden Caulfield have been exposed in order to throughout his life have lead him to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Holden shows intrusive symptoms of PTSD, especially flashbacks.

At the beginning of the novel, Holden introduces you to his younger brother, Allie: “My brother Allie had this left-handed fielder’s mitt. He was left handed. […] He’s dead now. He got leukemia and died when we were up in Maine, on July 18, 1946” (Salinger 43). Holden’s story about Allie is a flashback to when Allie was alive and well. This shows that Holden does not want to believe that Allie has passed away and chooses in order to focus on the positive memories instead. Holden is usually in denial. Another flashback Holden has during typically the novel occurs when he will become depressed. “I felt therefore depressed, you can’t imagine. What I did, I actually started talking, sort associated with out loud, to Allie. I do that at times when I get very depressed” (Salinger 110). Holden continues to be speaking to Allie as if he could be still living, remembering a better moment. Later in the novel, when Phoebe tells Holden to consider something he really enjoys, Holden can only think about an old memory of his, flashing again to the time their friend committed suicide whilst wearing his sweater. This individual remembers this vividly, thinking, “There was this child I knew at Elkton Hills, named James Fortress, that wouldn’t take back some thing he said relating to this really conceited boy, Phil Secure. […] Ultimately what he did, as an alternative of taking back just what he said, he leaped your window” (Salinger 188). This event has a considerable effect on Holden; James Castle, someone whom Holden considers a friend, shows up dead on the sidewalk wearing one of Holden’s sweaters, which is now included in blood. This upsetting moment is forever historical in Holden’s head, in addition to it creeps through to him or her when he is trying to recall pleasant reminiscences. These events show just how flashbacks, a symptom associated with PTSD, affect Holden on a regular basis.

Holden also displays the avoidance symptoms regarding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sensation strong guilt, depression, plus worry and having problems remembering events are symptoms of avoidance that Holden Caulfield experiences as an effect of PTSD. A first-rate example of Holden getting trouble remembering events since well as worrying too much happens when Stradlater comes home from his day. “Some things are difficult to remember. I’m pondering now of when Stradlater got back from their date with Jane. […] I possibly was still looking away the window, but I actually swear I can’t remember. I was so darn worried, that’s why” (Salinger 45). Holden’s anxiety is usually far above normal levels for a healthy person because it is influencing his daily habits, these kinds of as using the restroom. An instance where Holden feels strong guilt is usually when he starts talking to be able to Allie like he will be there with him. Holden does this when he or she feels extra depressed, in addition to it is always about the day where he or she failed to let Allie appear along with him and his friend, Bobby. A good example is when Holden says, “So once in an although now, after i get really depressed, I keep expressing to him, ‘Okay. Move home and get your current bike and meet myself in front of Bobby’s house. Hurry up’” (Salinger 110). The fact that Holden frequently recalls this moment displays his feelings of remorse pertaining to Allie. Holden also has strong thoughts of depression along with suicidal thoughts. When Holden is trying to fall asleep in his hotel space, he writes, “What I actually really felt like, though, was committing suicide. I actually felt like jumping out the window” (Salinger 116-117). The one factor keeping Holden back from leaping is that people will have to see his dead entire body on the pavement, and he does not want to make some other people go through the same situation he encounters when James Castle commits suicide, which still has a traumatic impact on him or her.

A lot more extreme than Holden’s associated with elimination are his associated with hyperarousal pertaining to PTSD. Common especially during the finish from the novel, Holden Caulfield experiences all of typically the symptoms of hyperarousal which are present with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which are angry outbursts, trouble sleeping, and being on edge. Most alarming is what happens soon after Allie dies. Holden switches into a fit of trend, remembering, “I was only thirteen, and they have been going to have me personally psychoanalyzed and all, because I broke all typically the windows in the garage. I don’t blame these people. I really don’t” (Salinger 44). Holden’s reaction in order to his brother’s death is usually far beyond what is normal during times of grief, specially for a thirteen yr old boy. When Holden says that he will not blame his mother and father for having him psychoanalyzed, it shows that Holden acknowledges that something is usually wrong with him plus that he knows his / her reaction is abnormal. A great example of a moment where Holden has difficulty sleeping occurs when Holden is in the motel in New York. “It was still pretty earlier. I’m not sure just what time it was, yet it wasn’t too past due. The one thing I actually hate to do is usually go to bed any time I’m not even tired” (Salinger 74). Before arriving at his hotel inside New York, Holden has been awake all day time and been active, creating a normal person to become exhausted. In addition , once Holden has been in his hotel room for a while, he decides in order to go out and check out multiple clubs, as nicely as go dancing, just before he returns to his / her hotel room and tries to sleep. A situation where Holden is on edge occurs when he or she visits Mr. Antolini’s house. Holden is finally in a position to fall asleep, just to be awakened by simply something strange: “I woke up all of a sudden. Dont really know exactly what time it was or perhaps anything, but I woke up. I felt something on my head, some guy’s hand. […] Child, I’ll bet I jumped about a thousand feet” (Salinger 211). Holden is distressed and leaves Mister. Antolini’s apartment immediately right after this incident occurs. He or she doesn’t give Mr. Antolini a chance to explain himself, and is paranoid, assuming the absolute most severe about the situation.

Although many experts believe Holden Caulfield is usually experiencing a mental illness like PTSD, some bloggers have argued the reverse. One of the the majority of common objections to typically the claim that Holden provides a mental illness is usually that the emotions he is sensation are normal for the teenager. Although some of Holden’s actions are normal, his emotions is much beyond the realm of anyone who is sane. Another discussion against Holden’s abnormal state of mind is that Holden is just trying to make the changeover from boy to man and does not agree with the phoniness and rudeness he sees in typically the world he or she is trying to embrace. The novel starts and ends with Holden in a mental organization, which is obviously not really a place for somebody who is emotionally secure. Holden also displays difficult symptoms such as depressive disorders, thoughts of suicide and the failure to concentrate. The many common objection to the presence of a psychological illness affecting Holden will be that Holden is merely whiny and insecure. Yet Holden’s angry and pessimistic sights towards the world interact with PTSD symptoms, such because feeling on edge. Depression also triggers negative thoughts, which is another indicator of Post-Traumatic Stress Problem. While critics try in order to argue that nothing is usually wrong with Holden Caulfield, evidence from the novel clearly proves that he is struggling with serious mental instability.

Holden Caulfield consistently shows symptoms of Post-Traumatic Anxiety Disorder as an effect of the horrific activities he has used through his life. He encounters intrusive, avoidance and hyperarousal symptoms which negatively influence his outlook on existence. It is usually important to level out that J. Deb. Salinger was diagnosed with PTSD, since authors often reveal their personal lives inside their work (“J. Deb. Salinger had PTSD”). Regardless of far Holden attempts to run from his problems, they can not escape them as they are inside of him. While some critics argue of which Holden is a normal teenager, facts and facts directly from Salinger’s story prove the theory that Holden Caulfield is, in fact, suffering from Ptsd.

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