Oscar Pistorius is suffering from depression and post traumatic stress disorder and needs continuing psychiatric care or he could become suicidal, a psychologist who examined Pistorius reported to the court where he is on trial for murder.
The report was written by one of four mental health experts who conducted a month long evaluation of Pistorius after the court was told that the shooting of Pistorius' lover Reeva Steenkamp could have been triggered by a generalized anxiety disorder.
The panel of three psychiatrists and one psychologist concluded that Pistorius, a legless paralympian who gained fame as the "Blade Runner" for his prosthetics, was aware of right and wrong at the time of the shooting. But part of the psychologist's report was read in court today by Pistorius' lawyer.
How Oscar Pistorius' Psych Report Could Impact Murder Trial Pistorius is on trial for killing Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year. He claims he mistook her for an intruder when he fired four shots through a bathroom door, but the prosecution has argued that he fired in an anger fueled rage.
"He currently suffers from a post-traumatic stress disorder, and a major depressive disorder... The degree of anxiety and depression that is present is significant. He is also mourning the loss of Miss Steenkamp," defense lawyer Barry Roux read in court from the doctor's report.
"Mr. Pistorius is being treated and should continue to receive clinical care by a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist for his current condition. Should he not receive proper clinical care, his condition is likely to worsen and increase the risk for suicide," the report said.
The report also concluded that Pistorius appeared to have genuine feelings towards Steenkamp.
“No evidence could be found to indicate that Mr. Pistorius has a history of abnormal aggression or explosive violence. Abnormal aggression and violence was never incorporated in his personality... He does not display the personality characteristics of narcissism... that are mostly associated with men in abusive relationships and have been linked to rage-type murders in intimate relationships,” the report stated.
The report could be a blow to the prosecution which has argued that Pistorius was a jealous lover who killed Steenkamp following a fight.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, however, pointed out that the panel's report dismissed generalized anxiety disorder as a contributor to Pistorius' decision for fire four shots through a locked bathroom door.
The high profile trial is fast nearing its end, with Roux calling the team doctor for the South African Paralympic team as his last witness. Professor Wayne Derman accompanied the team to the 2012 London Olympic Games. Derman testified that for disabled athletes, traveling and touring can lead to numerous medical challenges.
The doctor said he had conducted research where they compared disabled athletes with able-bodied athletes and found that the disabled had higher indicators of psychological distress after competitions.
Testimony could conclude in the trial, which has spanned four months, as early as Wednesday.