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"I made a conscious choice while writing this book not to label David's mental illness. He's not described at any point as having manic-depression or schizophrenia or whatever -- whatever afflicts him, the things that he calls "neuroses," are more ambiguous than that. The decision to keep him label-less was in part influenced by my own experiences with mental illness and mental health diagnoses; my diagnoses have shifted time and again, and while I think that psychiatric diagnoses can be useful, they're also a fallible human construct. Insanity is much more complex than the DSM gives it credit for."
"I do think the young people of my generation, who went to primary school in the '80s, heard these names flowing around all the time -- Trump, [Ivan Frederick] Boesky, [Michael] Milken. And there was this hero worship of these unscrupulous men who represented greed and wealth, and this worshipping of absurdly materialistic consumerism. (Marty McFly drove a DeLorean in Back to the Future.) It was totally in the air. Children at the time stopped wanting to be firemen or astronauts. They wanted to be rich. And I think these changing desires not only say something about the culture of that time, they also might inform us with some vital information about our horrendous current moment."
"You asked what was most frustrating to me, and overall it is this: that in Isaiah's path, especially in the years directly before his crimes against Jennifer and Teresa, one sees over and over again opportunities for intervention that were missed because, in short, our public mental health systems are so fragmented, overwhelmed, and under-resourced. Ultimately, this all traces to the way we ignore, at great peril to our fellow citizens and to ourselves, how badly broken our country's mental health system has become. The consequences of this brokenness are not limited to disturbing crimes. In fact, as I note in the book, the mentally ill are far more likely to be victims of crimes than perpetrators."