Many people experience significant events in their lives that can have an effect on their brains’ and overall health. In The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, the protagonist Holden Caulfield is struggling with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Among the variety of symptoms of PTSD, Holden struggles mainly with three of them, re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and hyperarousal symptoms. These symptoms are conveyed through Holden’s actions that he displays over the course of the novel.
Initially, Holden experiences the death of his little brother Allie. This suddenly tragic event was not easy for him. Holden finds this difficult to wrap his head around because Allie was so young …show more content…
These symptoms include being easily startled, feeling tense or on edge, and having angry outbursts (“PTSD” 2 ). Holden displays this symptom when he has no place left to go, and stays at his english teacher’s house, Mr. Antolini. Holden had woken up in the middle of the night to Mr. Antolini at his side patting him on the head, admiring him. Holden had a sudden burst of anger and darted out the door as if Mr. Antolini was trying to hurt or abuse him. Holden described his anxiousness when he said, “I started putting on my damn pants in the dark.” “I could hardly get them on i was so damn nervous” (Salinger 192). This incident showed Holden’s immense feelings of hyperarousal. He was so startled he had trouble with the simple task of getting dressed.
In summation, Holden Caulfield shows multiple symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder throughout the course of the novel, The Catcher and the Rye. His manifestations show he has distinct personality traits that correlate to PTSD. Acting in avoidance, flashbacks, and hyperarousal all prove towards his mental suffering. Treatment for Holden means Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a therapy that involves talking with a mental health professional about controlling fear, making sense of fear, or how to reduce anxiety. (“PTSD”