Holden Caulfield’s Doctor Analysis Patient: Holden Caulfield Doctor: Carolina Beltran Date: May 18, 2009 Abstract: After studying the patient, Holden Caulfield, for several days in daily therapeutic sessions, I have concluded that the patient is suffering from Dysthemic Disorder. A person who has Dysthymic Disorder generally has had a variety of depressive symptoms for at least two years. Although Dysthymic Disorder does not have a clear cause one of the common contributing factors, which I believe is applicable to Holden, are traumatic experiences. I believe Holden’s depression began developing after the death of his younger brother, Allie.
During the therapeutic sessions while discussing his problems, as well as observing his behavioral changes in certain topics I noticed a consistency in his behavior. Holden tend to be extremely judgmental of almost everything and everybody he knows. Introduction: Holden’s problem is that since the death of his brother Allie, he has been unable to find happiness. Not being able to move on with his life, he does not allow himself to be close to anyone, fearing that they too might leave him just like Allie did, thus, he alienates himself from society. Holden often complains about being surrounded by phonies.
To him phonies are too typical, as well as superficial. While at Pency Prep he claims that the school was full of phonies, thus, that is one of the reason he dislikes the school The patient’s appearance is mainly that of the norm except for the hunting hat, which he mentions that he does not care about what people think of it. Although, his appetite is not normal, he usually does not eat. I am trying to help Holden resolve his problems, so that he may be able to lead a normal life again. Materials and Methods: Upon studying Holden though a series of conversations about his past and roblems within my office at Mental Health and Healing Practices in Pennsylvania. Traumatic experiences like the death of his brother Allie has not allowed him to move on. “ I know he’s dead…. just because somebody is dead you don’t stop liking them.. ”(171). This shows that Holden has not been able to move on with his life because Allie is still a main focus of his life even though he is not physically there. Holden does not want anything to change, he wants everything to stay the same. That is one of the reasons he likes the Museum of Natural History, because it will always remain the same, it represents stability and security to him. …every time I’d get to the end of the block I’d make believe I was talking to my brother Allie I’d say to him ‘Allie don’t let me disappears’…when I’d reach the other side of the street without disappearing, I’d thank him”(198). Holden suffers from extreme loneliness, however he does not anyone to get close to him, I believe that, yes , Holden has a problem, but it can be cured by giving Holden support, so he can build confidence within himself, so that one day he can be ready to open up to others. Results: Holden exhibits several of the symptoms associated with Dysthymic Depression.
His depression began after his brother Allie died, therefore, he would have for more than two years. Then, another traumatic experience occurred, the suicide of one of his school mates. A symptom of Dysthymic depression is decreased appetite, as Holden has shown, “…I had a cigarette. The last time I’d eaten was those two hamburgers I had with Brossed and Ackley…”(105). In addition another symptom Holden has exhibited are feelings of hopelessness an lack of power, “ I’d feel like I ought to sock the guy in the jaw or something…. only T wouldn’t have the guts to do it. I’d just stand there”(89).
Furthermore, as my sessions with Holden progressed he started to show suicidal thoughts, “What I really felt like, though, was committing suicide. I felt like jumping out the window”(104). After all of the evidence has been carefully analyzed that Holden needs to get immediate attention to recover from the Dysthymic Disorder he clearly exhibits. Treatment: To treat the Dysthymic Disorder Holden has shown, I suggest he be treated with Psychotherapy. I believe that by allowing Holden to talk frequently to another person about his problems will bring him relief as well as help him build social skill by opening up to another person.
I recommend that Holden takes both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, to help him stop thinking negative thoughts, as well as Psychodynamic Therapy, to help treat his past traumatic experiences. I recommend that Holden should take two Classes of cognitive Behavioral Therapy per week as well as two classes of Psychodynamic Therapy per week for as much time as bound necessary. Prognosis: If Holden does not take the classes I have advised, he will probably develop Major Depression in time. However, if he does as I have advised it is probable that in time, I am not sure as to how much time it might take, but he will eventually recover.