Mental health in the 1950's was a very big and changing deal in this time. Many people were pleased with how nothing was being done about mental health, they wanted it to change because to many young teenagers had mental health issues.People with mental health issues were judged and made fun of , there was also a belief in the community that mental health was incurable, the assumption in this time was that they were unpredictable and dangerous. Many teenage delinquents suffered from mental health problems but relise because there was no care back in the 1950's for mental health issues. But in 1953 things started to change, there were advertisements, government meetings, and associations like Mental Health America of Colorado were made for mental health patients.
An element for mental health 1950's that is demonstrated through Holden Caulfield and how his character is seen as and what JD Salinger is trying to say about mental health is shown through his which is technically called characterisation. An Example of this is the repetition of the words Holden describe himself to feeling nervous, depressed, stressed and he gets these headaches from worrying too much. JD salinger is trying to get the point across that in the 195os teenagers had a lot of trouble maintaining their problems and taking control of it. An example of Holden symptoms of depression is when Holden is talking to his sister and she is ranging about how holden finds a way to hate everything. " 'You don't like anything that's happening.' It made me even more depressed when she said that. 'Yes I do. Yes I do. Sure I do. Don't say that. Why the hell do you say that?', 'Because you don't. You don't like any schools. You don't like a million things. You don't.'. 'I do! That's where you're wrong—that's exactly where you're wrong!' 'Why the hell do you have to say that?' I said. Boy, she was depressing me." JD Salinger is saying that Holden is feeling depressed, Phoebe is noticing it but Holden refuses to except or listen to what phoebe was saying. Therefore he is not aware of him feeling depressed and all. JD Salinger is challenging the cultural assumption of mental health through Holden by displaying Holden's negative thoughts and actions. Jd Salinger is also trying to say that other people were concerned at the time and tried to change and help those who had mental health issues, such as phoebe. There were also the others that would ignore what he was saying and told him that is was perfectly normal and that he shouldn't be worrying about such a thing, like Sradlater and Ackley, people that were negative about everything and didn't help in any possible way.