Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Merryl Vorster described the athlete – who is charged with murdering girlfriend Reeva Steencamp – as a “distrusting and guarded” person who is “hyper-vigilant” about security and often feels “isolated and alone” as she took the stand at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. However, her evidence caused state prosecutor Gerrie Nel to argue the athlete’s mental health should be examined more fully, which could delay the trial for up to a month if he is admitted to a psychiatric hospital for tests. Pistorius claims he shot his partner after mistaking her for an intruder, and the psychiatrist spoke at length about his “fight or flight response”, claiming he is more likely to stand up to threatening situations than to flee because of his disability. She also said: “When in South Africa he worries about being followed and about the security of his home.” She spoke of how he sleeps with his bedroom door locked and frequent night wakings, believing he hears noises, explaining his increased anxiety levels mean he “perceives his surroundings as being threatening when perhaps they’re not”. If the 27-year-old athlete is found to be suffering from a mental illness, he could not be health criminally responsible for his girlfriend’s death and would be found not guilty by reason of “mental illness or intellectual disability”.
Source: Oscar Pistorius has ‘anxiety disorder’ – Starpulse.com
Pistorius Might Face Mental Observation Because of Anxiety Disorder – Yahoo
Concealing his disability made him less able to access the emotional support he needed, Vorster said. Oscar Pistorius ‘Broke Every Rule’ Night He Shot Girlfriend, Expert Says His mother died when he was 15 years old, a crushing loss for the teen, Vorster said. He later became estranged from his father at age 21. The psychiatrist testified that Pistorius anxiety increased as his fame rose and that he grew increasingly more concerned about crime. At the time of the shooting, she said, his physical vulnerability and his anxiety disorder would have converged. Its up to the court to decide whether Pistorius anxiety contributed to the fatal shooting of Steenkamp, Vorster said. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel started his cross-examination by asking if Pistorius anxiety disorder would have influenced his perception or ability to distinguish between right and wrong. No, she said.
More: Pistorius Might Face Mental Observation Because of Anxiety Disorder – Yahoo