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Depression in The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger Essay

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Depression, a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. This mental illness demonstrates to affect teens as much as it affects adults. Studies show that 20 percent of teens will experience teen depression before they reach adulthood. When you deal with depression, you often find it difficult to live an everyday normal life. The “Catcher in the Rye” written by J.D Salinger, narrates on the main character Holden Caulfield, a hostile and negative person, who suffers from severe depression.

Teenage years are, without argument, the most confusing and difficult years of a person’s life as they prepare to go into adulthood. A wave of anxiety filled teenage year’s leads to an anxiety filled adulthood, following with a variety of prescription drugs and therapy sessions along with way. Throughout the “Catcher in the Rye” novel, Holden shows several signs of depression in various areas of his life such as lying, thoughts of suicide and the constant repetition of the word “depressing” in its self. Lying usually becomes second nature to those who suffer from depression as they feel the need to shield themselves away from the world. Holden assumes to lie to just about any adult he encounters so he can obscure insecurities and shelter his lack of inspiration in life. Holden is “the most terrific liar you ever saw,” (16) when it came to people wanting to assist him in finding his way in life. His frequent used technique was to shove people away by telling them “don’t worry about me…I’ll be all right, I’m just going through a phase” (18) when in reality Holden is screaming, hoping someone will s...


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...ng charge of his life but it is time to stop.
Depression is a major concern today and takes a harsh toll on everyone, not only the person who is diagnosed with it but also their family. It is not always obvious when someone is depressed. Everyone handles depression differently in their own way but depression is a medical problem which should be handled professionally. Unfortunately, Holden let his depression escalate out of proportion leading him to live a life full of emptiness, guilt, and compulsive lying and this way his way of dealing with his problem. Today, teenagers and Holden share multitude of problems such as losing a loved one, drugs, alcohol, and peer pressure that lead to depression and we need families to take notice and do something to stop teen depression.


Works Cited
Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown, 2001. Print.


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