Does Holden have a mental illness?

While Salinger never provides a specific diagnosis, references to Holden’s mental instability are clear throughout the novel, and the reader could easily make the connection that Holden suffers from some combination of depression, anxiety, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For example, as the novel opens, Holden narrates, “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.” Additional comments from Holden and other characters regarding Holden’s mental state further confirm his mental illness. In the novel’s final chapter, Holden reveals that he is writing from inside a mental hospital.