A Negative View Of Mental Illness

1781 Words Nov 24th, 2015 8 Pages
When the phrase “mental illness” is spoken, the immediate thought that pops into the individual’s mind is the extremes such as Schizophrenia, or Bipolar Disorder. However, the majority of mental disorders fall into the spectrum of quite common disorders such as Depression, Anxiety, or Obsessive Compulsion Disorder (OCD). Why should the first thing that people think of be negative? What makes people think this way? Society has a negative view of mental illness because of media portrayal, the attitudes of individuals, and skepticism, and the novel, The Catcher in the Rye, makes a connection to these views of the world. In the novel The Catcher in the Rye, written by J.D. Salinger, the main character Holden Caulfield is clearly disturbed in some way or another. The opening paragraph begins to paint a clear picture of Holden’s unique and descriptive personality, “I’ll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy” (Salinger 1). The “madman” stuff that Holden’s been going through is pretty extreme. He even ran away from his school and got tangled up with alcohol and prostitution. Holden refers to his mental health problems as “madman stuff” and he isn’t willing to admit that he has a problem. Holden even experiences hallucinations, like when he was walking to see Mr. Spencer and he thought that he was “disappearing every time you crossed a road” (5). In terms of…
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