Merryll Vorster testified Monday that events during Pistorius’ life, including the amputation of his lower legs as a baby and his late mother’s habit of sleeping with a gun under her pillow, contributed to his “increasing stress.” Pistorius’ defense said it would show his feelings of “vulnerability” contributed to him shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by mistake last year fearing she was an intruder hiding in a toilet cubicle in his home. Prosecutors say Pistorius killed Steenkamp intentionally after an argument. The Olympian is charged with premeditated murder. Vorster said she interviewed Pistorius and some of his family members and friends. Also on HuffPost: Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day.. Facebook
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Daniel Born/AP Photo Copy Another complication has temporarily halted the Oscar Pistorius trial, after the trial judge ordered Pistorius be sent for a mental health screening. The order was given after Dr. 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.
For the original version, visit http://abcnews.go.com/International/pistorius-trial-temporarily-halted-anxiety-diagnosis-blade-runner/story?id=23712927