Merryll Vorster testified for the defense and said that Pistorius has general anxiety disorder, a psychiatric condition that could make the athlete more likely to fight a threatening situation than flee it. Get the Latest News on the Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial But experts say Pistorius will have to undergo extensive testing to be diagnosed with the condition. Youre looking for things that would supercharge that nervous system and leave it more vulnerable, said George Everly, associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. You can have chronic exposure or traumatic event — either one works. Everly said some people with the disorder have a genetic history or have experienced traumatic events that make them hyper-sensitive to perceived threats. In severe cases, people can feel so afraid that they want to protect themselves in seemingly overzealous ways, he said, from installing extra security alarms to amassing weapons. Think of a lightning bolt going through electric currents [of the brain], he said.
More: Pistorius Trial Temporarily Halted Over Anxiety Diagnosis for Blade Runner – ABC News
I was incapable of doing anything other than survive, and hope for a better future that didn’t include being sectioned. It’s not so bad now. I can go for days, even weeks, without an attack. Of course, the fear of having one always lingers beneath the surface, and worry is my constant companion. It affects everything, and makes my life rather difficult. Going to the cinema?
More: Living with anxiety is hard, but there are coping mechanisms | Comment is free | theguardian.com