Sadness and changes in mood are normal reactions to the difficulties life presents, but depression is more than just sadness. Depression overwhelms lives and interferes with the ability to work, eat, sleep and have fun. People with depression also feel hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness. Depression can be caused by external factors, such as family conflict, job loss, major life changes and death, and internal factors, such as personality, medical issues or family disposition to depression. Depression can affect teenagers and children as well as adults, for example; depression is one of the most common mental illnesses that affect young people, and should be a priority for adolescents because suicide is the leading cause of death of young people in Australia and approximately 5% of young people perform self-harm. Teenagers need to be aware of the help there is out there for them and the options that they have. There are signs that can be noticed for early detection of Depression. These include: a loss of interest in hobbies, pastimes, work or sex, appetite or weight changes, changes in sleeping patterns, loss of energy, self-loathing, anger or irritability, unexplained aches or pains, reckless behaviour – such as drug use, concentration problems and thoughts of death or suicide
Depression is evident in the novel The Catcher in the Rye through the character Holden Caulfield. Throughout the entire novel Holden obviously faces some form of depression, but this is most obviously evident in chapter twenty-five. In this chapter Holden went to get something to eat only to find that he couldn’t eat up and thought he was going to disappear when crossing the road. I think this is when Holden felt the most depressed. During the rest of the book, however, he also was irritated and angered easily, uninterested in school and other activities, thought often of the death of his brother and James Castle, and even went so far as to say he wanted to commit suicide in chapter fourteen.
Depression is a serious mental illness that affects every aspect of people’s lives
Mum and Dad sat me down on the goddamned couch looking solemn as hell. Mum had red puffy eyes but was trying to act all tough. It was depressing as hell, it really was. I hate it when people try to cover up that they have been crying. It’s phoney. Like, I’m supposed to feel comforted because they can hold back tears for a few seconds. I didn’t want to listen to a goddamned thing they were saying but they kept talking and talking. I already knew what was coming, but there wasn’t a goddamned thing that could stop them from explaining what had happened, there really wasn’t. It’s not like I had my eyes closed the entire time Allie had been in that depressing as hell hospital for the whole damned time he had been there. I didn’t go there tonight. I couldn’t handle it, I really couldn’t. I couldn’t go and listen to some sonovabitch tell me that the leukaemia had finally killed my brother, but it was almost worse sitting on that depressing couch. I got up before they could finish and left the room. I couldn’t take one more word, I really couldn’t. I knew mum was probably bawling now that I left and I was probably hurting her more. I felt bad for her, really I did, but I couldn’t take one more goddamned word. It was depressing as hell.
Resilience is vital if a person is to be successful in life, because resilience is overcoming setbacks. Holden Caulfield from the book ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ was unfortunately not a very resilient person but plenty of extraordinary people are resilient, Kurt Fearnley for example was extremely resilient.
Kurt Fearnley was born with lumbosacral agenesis, which meant he was born without the lower portion of his spine. He never let his disability hold him back though and even played football when he was young. Kurt Fearnley took up wheelchair racing when he was 14 by pushing his everyday wheelchair as fast as he could at school athletics carnivals. Since then Kurt has raced in 43 marathons, 31 of which he won and 10 had podium finishes in, become a three-time paralympian, won nine medals, 3 of which were gold, crawled the Kokoda trail and was the NSW young Australian of the year. He has not only shown resilience in overcoming the obvious obstacles of his disability, but he has also over come other setbacks. In the 2004 Athens Paralympics, Kurt’s tyre burst at 5km to go and he still managed to come first and win the gold. In 2009, Kurt successfully crawled the 96km Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea and in 2011 he was a celebrity crew member on the winning yacht Investec Loyal in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. In the Sydney 2000 Olympics Kurt was planning on racing in the 1500m Demonstration Event, but just beforehand he was in a car accident and had to stop training for 3 weeks. He still managed to place 4th in the event. As well as his athletic accomplishments, he is also a qualified Physical Education teacher and travels around NSW teaching High-school children.
Holden Caulfield, however, has very different resilience levels. Holden doesn’t react well to people when they act in a way he thinks is stupid or ‘phoney’. He doesn’t know when to stop which has caused him to be beaten up on two occasions in the book already. Holden became depressed at some point, most likely over the death of his brother, and has found it difficult to participate in social activities, school life or school work ever since. Holden finds himself wondering what the point of anything is and so he never pushes himself to be the best that he can be. Holden has a lack of achievements and has found himself kicked out of many schools, not because he doesn’t have the ability but because he doesn’t have the motivation to do anything.
Holden Caulfield is very different to Kurt Fearnely because Holden lacks resilience. Holden is the cause of most of his own problems, but he finds it hard to overcome the obstacles in his own mind, while Kurt has successfully overcome the obstacles of his mind as well as the physical challenges he has faced.