Why does Oscar’s psych assessment have GAD sufferers worried?

Last week, Oscar Pistorius began his 30 day mental evaluation at Weskoppies psychiatric hospital in Pretoria Villain's Story. The unexpected break in his murder trial came after a psychiatrist suggested he was suffering from general anxiety disorder (GAD) at the time he shot his girlfriend dead at his home in February last year.

Since the news of Oscar’s assessment was made public, The South African Depression and Anxiety Group has fielded hundreds of calls from families and caregivers of GAD sufferers. They want to know if their loved ones should be hospitalised immediately, and GAD can lead to violent and unpredictable behaviour. GAD Director Cassey Chambers wants to set the public straight, and has said that it is highly unlikely that GAD sufferers are dangerous to others, and the chances of them becoming violent is slim.

We spoke to Hello Doctor’s resident doctor, Russell Thomson, to see what he had to say about these concerns: “There is definitely no direct link between GAD and aggressive behaviour, so sufferers shouldn’t be alarmed.”

Essentially, Oscar’s evaluation will determine whether he was capable of understanding the wrongfulness of what he did, at the time he did it.
We’ll keep you posted on his assessment, as we hear more about it.

Read more about GAD and Oscar Pistorius on the Hello Doctor blog.

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