a psychoanalysis of holden caulfield

The admission of this patient has proven to be yet another impulsive action made by desperate parents. This patient, although exhibiting many symptoms of depression and grief caused by the death of a loved one, is not showing any signs of serious mental illness or instability. He is obviously an independent individual, rebellious as well. He is not hesitant to make known his opinions and thoughts. He seems to be a very cynical individual, most likely resulting from previous events that have occurred in his life. Though he doesn’t mention it much, he seems to be deeply affected by the death of his brother Allie Caulfield. He seems to miss him greatly, which could be the cause of the contemptuous attitude shown in his behavior. In addition, he witnessed the suicide of a fellow classmate a few years ago. Although they were not close, this is still a very traumatic event and can deeply influence one’s life, especially when witnessed at a young age. The patient does not seem to be at all motivated by anything except for his family. He especially seems unmotivated about school.

This may be the result of seeing the death of a classmate caused by torment at school. Seeing an extreme negative result of school may have caused a similarly negative attitude toward it. Caulfield doesn’t speak much about any friends that he has, though he mentions some of his old roommates and classmates from previous school years occasionally. While Caulfield exhibits behavior that may be interpreted as depression by many concerned parents, it is nothing more than the typical effect of teenage hormones. The patient may seem like he has some sort of mental instability, but this impulsive and reactive behavior is simply a product of pubescent hormones mixed with his natural rebellious actions and attitude.

What I would suggest to the patient is to take time to think about the impact his actions will make on his future, both near and distant. He should take time to think about this before making any sort of serious decision. Something Caulfield needs to improve is his social performance. He does not seem to have many friends and this may be what he needs to help him through his grief process. I would not prescribe any type of medication to the patient, for I do not feel it is necessary.

As for the patient’s parents, I would suggest spending more family time with him, maybe having more activities together. Even if they are only once a week, it is clear that the patient enjoys spending time with his family. I would not recommend enrolling the patient in a boarding school, for that would only further separate him from what he needs right now.

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