The day after this country’s worst mass shooting, I wrote. “59 dead, 500 injured.” A bewildered and stunned nation wonders, “How much more can we endure.” Even the suspect’s brother, exasperated, tells reporters, “When you find out why he did this, let me know.”
But, people don’t just snap. And in hindsight, those who knew Stephen Paddock might mention his lack of sleep, his increased isolation, his dependency on psychiatric drugs or alcohol to function. We may find he ordered more guns, gambled more recklessly and bought more ammo. We may learn there was a breakup, a divorce, or domestic violence. We will look back and understand.
Know the signs and symptoms of mental illness. Even when someone is high functioning, there are telltale signs: mood changes, anger, isolation, lack of interest in hobbies, lack of interest in appearance, impulsive, grandiose, excessive energy or lack of energy, obsession with weapons, obsession with violence.