Kieren Perkins: ‘a Panic Attack Nearly Cost Me Gold Medal Glory In 1500m At The Atlanta Olympics’ |

The judge has not yet ruled on prosecutor Gerrie Nel’s application that the court considers a period of mental evaluation for the world-famous runner. Dr. Merryll Vorster, a psychiatrist called by the defense, testified that a series of events in Pistorius’s turbulent life, including the amputation of his lower legs as a baby, his parents’ divorce, his late mother’s habit of sleeping with a gun under her pillow and his own fear of violent crime contributed to his “increasing stress.” “Overall, Mr. Pistorius appears to be a mistrustful and guarded person,” Vorster testified. She said he has “many features of anxiety.” Vorster said Pistorius’ anxiety combined with his physical disability may have caused him to act differently from other people when he shot four times through a toilet stall door in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013, killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
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“And it’s not to say that I stopped trying or I gave up, but I certainly stopped pushing and just rolled through the rest of the [heat] at the pace that I was doing, and touched the wall and looked up at the scoreboard and saw the eight beside my name. “And you know that was when the real panic set in, because I realised of course I was in the final, I was in lane eight and I was going to have to back up tomorrow and face the world and stand on the blocks and swim, when clearly I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t good enough.” The 40-year-old said he was flooded by self-doubt – a feeling he wasn’t used to – and believed he would lose support if he failed. He was known in swimming circles as ‘King Kieren’ for his incredible ability to contain and overcome his nerves. “I started to sort of mentally go off on this ridiculous tangent about how my life was going to forever alter because if I didn’t win this swimming race the sponsors will be gone, the income will be gone,” he said. “[Swim coach] Mr Carew won’t talk to me because he’ll be so disappointed in what I’ve delivered. My God, if I don’t win this swimming race, my family won’t love me anymore.” Victory … Kieren Perkins has revealed a panic attack nearly led him to abandon an Olympic gold-medal-winning race that has become iconic in Aussie sport.
Source: Kieren Perkins: ‘A panic attack nearly cost me gold medal glory in 1500m at the Atlanta Olympics’ |

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. 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. The result is a sensitization you get a sense of a person walking around, theyre hyper-sensitive to everything.
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