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Oscar Pistorius depressed, suicide risk, and suffering from PTSD, says psych evaluation

A court-ordered psychiatric evaluation of former Olympian Oscar Pistorius found that he is depressed, struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, and a suicide risk.
By JC Finley   |   July 2, 2014 at 5:38 PM   |   Comments

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PRETORIA, South Africa, July 2 (UPI) -- The findings of a psychiatric exam conducted over a month-long period were read at South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius' murder trial Wednesday.

While the mental health exam concluded that the former Olympian does not suffer from abnormal aggression or psychopathic tendencies, the psychiatrists determined that Pistorius is depressed, struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, and a suicide risk.

The doctors reported to the court that "When Mr. Pistorius's appraisal of the situation is that he might be physically threatened, a fear response follows that might seem extraordinary when viewed from the perspective of a normal bodied person, but normal in the context of a disabled person with his history."

That conclusion supports the defense's argument that the amputation of his legs as a child amounted to a "traumatic assault."

Pistorius has admitted he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013 but claims that he mistook her for a burglar in the bathroom of his residence.

Psychiatrist Dr. Meryl Vorster testified in April that Pistorius and his siblings were raised by their mother "to see their external environment as threatening," an upbringing that "added to the anxiety."

Judge Thokozile Masipa will ultimately decide whether Pistorius shot Steenkamp intentionally or accidentally.

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