The Danger of Suppressing Sadness

What if Holden Caulfield had been taking Prozac?

Considering his wealth of symptoms--lethargy, forgetfulness, loss of interest in friends and studies--can there be any doubt that Holden Caulfield, the dropout hero of J.D. Salinger's 1950s masterpiece The Catcher in the Rye, would be on Luvox, Prozac or a similar drug if he were a teenager today? No doubt whatsoever. A textbook teen depressive by current standards, Caulfield would be a natural candidate for pharmaceutical intervention, joining a rising number of adolescents whose moodiness, anxiety and rebelliousness are being interpreted as warning signs of chemical imbalances. Indeed, if Caulfield had been a '90s teen, his incessant griping about "phonies" and...

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