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“I will not look at a picture where I’m tormented by what I saw and felt that night,” Oscar Pistorius testified after the prosecution projected an image of Reeva Steenkamp’s dead body to the court. “As I picked Reeva up, my fingers touched her head. I remember. I don’t have to look at a picture. I was there.”

Pistorius is tormented by what he saw and felt, but not by what he did? He’s not tormented by his actions?

If we are to believe Pistorius, we must believe that he was absolutely terrified that night and was only trying to protect Reeva. He was, according to him, acting and moving from a place of extreme fear and vulnerability. He was traumatized by the assumption that a burglar had gained access into his home. In his eyes, Oscar wants us to believe that he shot through that bathroom door because, in the moments leading up to the gun “accidentally” firing, Oscar was a victim of an intruder.

Okay. Let’s consider that. Let’s consider that Pistorius was terrified and traumatized.

According to Pistorius, he was so terrified and traumatized by hearing sounds coming from the locked toilet stall that he blindly shot through the bathroom door at what he imagined was a burglar. Immediately after blindly shooting through the door, Pistorius then experienced a second trauma upon realizing – oh, my goodness! – that he had actually shot Reeva. Double trauma!

One would assume that a double trauma would translate to compounded shock, correct? How does one who experiences compounded shock respond?

First, one does not immediately proclaim to himself and everyone within earshot, “I am a victim. I deserve justice.”

Pistorius testified that he repeatedly asked the paramedics on the scene for help. He repeatedly said, “Help me, help me.” He also testified that he had asked a police officer, once in custody, if he could wash his hands, because the smell of the blood on them was making him vomit.

Is this how traumatized victims react in the moments and hours following such a traumatizing event? Do victims of traumatic events ask for help and ask to be cleaned up? No, they don’t.

As a society, we’ve seen plenty of footage and images of the aftermath of devastating traumatic events like 911 and the Boston Marathon bombing. With this collective understanding and knowledge, we can make a well-educated assumption that victims of trauma have no idea what just happened to them. Victims walk around dazed and confused, right? They move about in a state of shock and disbelief. Victims don’t recognize they’re injured. They don’t realize they’re bleeding or just lost an arm or a leg. They aren’t vomiting and retching. The last thing they notice is the smell of blood on their hands. They aren’t processing anything in the immediate aftermath. They are in shock!

When we experiences a traumatic event, our senses shut down. We actually become frozen from within. Although our physical body is experiencing a physical event, the rest of our body’s ability to function fails. We may be touching things, stepping on things, saying things, screaming things, being hit by things or even hitting things ourselves…none of these sensations are experienced consciously in the moment of being impacted by the traumatic event.

As a direct result of being temporarily disassociated from our sensations during a traumatic event, we have extreme difficulty remembering details of the event or how we specifically acted and reacted at the time of impact. Our behavior seems surreal to our memory, as if we were not present when the trauma event was happening.

Amazingly, although our mind may not have been consciously processing the trauma event, our subconscious was. Our subconscious becomes the temporary storage unit, so to say, for the sensations and reactions we experienced. Those sensations cannot be processed until they leave that storage unit as triggers. Triggers present themselves to victims in the forms of sounds, odors, images, flavors or textures that mirror the actual sensations our subconscious spared us during the traumatic event.

A victim can suddenly and unexpectedly experience a trigger at any time or in any environment following the traumatic event. These sudden and unannounced triggers catapult victims into a hyper state of awareness and panic. On trigger impact, victims suddenly become fearful when no real danger is eminent and go back to their mental and emotional state of the traumatic event. A victim may begin to sweat profusely and grab at their necks as they gasp for breath. They may frantically attempt to escape a crowd of people or a room. They might aggressively push a plate of food from the table. They might stop talking mid-sentence or mid-conversation and go silent and freeze and gaze off into nothingness.

In the eyes of those witnessing these trigger responses, victims appear crazy and unstable. But neither could be further from the truth.

When a victim finally experiences a trigger, the victim is receiving cues about what really happened during the traumatic event. Getting in touch with the truth about what was experienced allows a victim to move toward balance – mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Triggers are our mind’s personal messages to us that we experienced something very real and very ugly and that it’s time to pay attention and accept it in order to move through it.

Once an individual understands the when, why and how behind triggers, the victim will finally realize he/she IS a victim. And once a victim realizes there is no shame in being a victim, the victim becomes a thriving survivor.

Only an individual who lacks a conscience and who lacks all accountability can immediately step away from a double-trauma (in which his actions resulted in devastation and death) feeling like the victim.

There is nothing Pistorius needs to move through. He is not experiencing triggers or trauma recall. In his own words he states that he was there and remembers, right? However, it is clear that Pistorius needs to get over himself, stop casting delusions and lies, and start telling the truth.

I imagine he doesn’t even take the anti-depressants prescribed to him. That his accounts of waking up to the smell of blood are real, but that he’s rather annoyed and inconvenienced by the memory of the putrid smell than triggered. That his crying and vomiting are only because he is mourning the life he once lived and not the woman he murdered.

Namaste!
~Paula

Category:
abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissistic Sociopath, Psychopaths, PTSD, Recovery, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality
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Join the conversation! 102 Comments

  1. I can’t believe Judge Masipa fell for Pistorius’ bad acting skills. Now more than ever I’m thoroughly convinced that Pistorius is a Grade A sociopath. His pity ploy with all the crying (tears, snot etc) convinced Masipa. I am so disappointed. His bad acting skills alone should carry a minimum of 25 years non parole gaol time. The law is an ass!!

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    • It’s so disturbing, so unsettling. I think Judge Masipa is highly misinformed with regards to domestic violence and spotting perpetrators of domestic violence. It’s rather simple to spot a perpetrator: just listen to the victim. In this case, there were text messages between Reeva and Oscar that revealed the toxic nature of Oscar’s behavior and how it impacted Reeva’s sense of security. Unfortunately, the Judge dismissed the texts calling them irrelevant, because people are “fickle” in relationships. WOW!! I am shocked and disgusted. What an unfortunate dismissive reaction to the very evidence that spoke most clearly to Oscar’s state of mind. He KNEW Reeva was in that locked toilet…he KNEW it was her. He’s a liar and a criminal and he got away with murder.

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  2. Paula, I couldn’t agree with you more. Spot on with your assessment of Pistorius’s latest caper.

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    • Thanks, Shiela! He’s nuts. OMG! He provides all the incriminating evidence against himself. It’s quite incredible how delusional he is.

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  3. The trouble with a manipulative person is you don’t know if his/her emotional reactions are real or staged. You have no way of knowing unless you are interacting with the person on a continual basis. I’m convinced Pistorius killed Reeva out of rage and he is now finding it hard to stitch his story. Kohut’s self psychology therapy might be of some help to him.

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    • It will only help him if he THINKS he needs help. That’s the trouble with these types…they think they’re perfectly validated and the rest of us are the sick ones. 🙂

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    • The vomiting reaction is difficult to fake. Yes, it is possible to learn to vomit on cue. However, if that reaction was brought on by anxiety due to PTSD, then it would also be accompanied by dizziness and sweating and those can’t really be faked. We simply don’t know if he had those other symptoms because he wasn’t filmed, so we could not observe his body language.

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  4. I don’t understand your argument. Oscar Pistorius was traumatised because he shot and killed someone, not because he thought that there was an intruder. And no, this does not mean that he’s innocent.

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    • The argument is that he is NOT traumatized because he shot and killed someone. He’s traumatized because he got caught with his mask of sanity completely stripped after he shot and killed his girlfriend. There was no way out of this one. No one else to blame. His story of suspecting an intruder was just an easy one for folks to empathize with…up until Pistorius started talking, that is. The story was orchestrated like all of his past stories intended to divert attention from his shitty behavior and deranged mind, which once hid behind his mask. But that mask has been obliterated thanks to Reeva’s texts, Oscar’s own reactions to his crime (calling it an accident but taking no accountability), and the testimony of friends who have covered up for him in the past. He’s not only guilty of murder, he’s guilty of a lifetime of abuse and manipulations of others.

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    • Hang on. Who’s argument are you referring to? What I was saying was that shooting and killing someone would of been traumatic enough to cause post-traumatic stress disorder whether he did it deliberately or not. The title of this blog post even suggests that his emotional reactions are fake. However, if he had done it it intentionally, he could still be suffering PTSD over the event as well as feeling guilty and remorseful because he knew it was intentional whereas if it was an accident, he could still remorseful over that. This is the first trial in South Africa that’s been fully televised and having watched it from the beginning, I don’t believe that his emotional reactions in court are faked but I also don’t think that they are any indication of whether he is guilty or innocent. All I’m saying is that I can’t agree with your conclusion that Oscar is not experiencing triggers or trauma recall because that can happen even if he is guilty of intentionally killing Reeva as the state alleges and it does not mean that he’s innocent either. I’ve read articles where professional criminologists have stated this and even professional psychologists.

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    • His reactions are staged. He’s not suffering PTSD from accidentally killing his girlfriend. He mentioned a single incident that he awakened due to smelling blood and called his sister to comfort him. I don’t believe it. I believe he created this because professionals put it in his head that that’s how he SHOULD be reacting after “accidentally” shooting his girlfriend through a locked bathroom door. No. This was no accident. He shot her intentionally. Any trauma he’s experiencing is from getting caught red-handed. His trauma is related to losing his status and reputation. That’s why he’s nauseous. His self-perceptions are being shattered and the world is witnessing it. He can’t turn off the cameras now. It’s out of his control. That’s where his vomit is born.

      And these so-called professionals and criminal psychologists base their conclusion on the initial assumption that it was unintentional and that it was an accident. I am coming from the more likely assumption that he did it on purpose.

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    • I’m afraid that’s incorrect. In the articles that I’ve read, those criminal psychologists have even claimed in the same article that they made no assumptions on whether his actions were intentional or not. Even I have said multiple times that he would have the same reaction even if he did do it on purpose. I’m not coming also coming from one assumption or the other. I’ve made no assumptions at all, and thither did they. Of course, he might also be feeling sorry for himself at thought that could end up spending going to jail for very long time but his emotional reactions could come from a number of sources, they don’t have to come from only one source. The point those professionals were trying to make is that his emotional reactions have nothing to with his guilt or innocence at all, whether he did it intentionally or not at all. Therefore, coming from an assumption that did it on purpose, or whether he did it intentionally, and then coming to a conclusion based on that assumption is a pointless exercise.

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    • If they’re claiming PTSD due to his actions, then they are making an assumption as to why he reacts as he does. We don’t suffer PTSD when we are fully aware of what is happening around us. We suffer PTSD when we are ambushed. Perhaps Pistorius ambushed himself with his rage and acted in a way that even surprised himself. I don’t think so. I think he knew what he was doing.

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    • First of all, simply because something was done in a blind rage, it does not mean that it was not intentional. Yes, if this did happen in a blind rage, then it’s still perfectly possible that he could have PTSD as result of the event, by “ambushing himself” as you put it. If had thought about what he was doing, then that would make it premeditated and I don’t think that the prosecution have shown that. In fact, I think that even they have acknowledged that he could be traumatised by the event but it does not mean that he’s not guilty.

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    • Of course, we will never really know what happened. However, I’ve witnessed a pathological rage. I’ve been on the receiving end of a pathological rage. I’ve also witnessed the “remorse” that the pathological person attempts to use to gain pity. I’ve seen the fake tears, the vomiting (without sweat), and how “devastated” the pathological person is that he must seem accountable in order to regain trust again, only to go back and commit the same behavior. I guarantee if Oscar is not found guilty, he will go about his life PTSD symptom free. It will be like a goddam miracle!!

      I think it was in Hamlet that Shakespeare writes: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, that can be dreamt of in your philosophy.” Most experts and professionals use their current knowledge and past experience to define and analyze behavior. They ignore their gut and stick only to science. It’s only fair, of course, to the accused, right? The law is the law and is limited to tangible and measurable evidence. But the truth will be revealed in time, and true justice won’t come from the legal system. Oscar will be punished, it’s just a matter of when and how that just will befall.

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    • I’m not convinced that he’ll not be found guilty at this point, actually. Remember that he didn’t do himself any favours on the stand and I think it will be tough for the defence to overcome. It’s been a feeling of mine for while now that if they no longer think that they can win the case, they could give up and when the trial resumes on Monday, they could simply give their closing arguments and then that will be the end of it. We’ll see what will happen though.

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    • I just started reading some of the witness testimony from today. It seems as though Pistorius NEEDED the neighbors to be his audience for his drama-filled crying and pleading over Reeva’s dead body. A person in shock and suffering trauma doesn’t call neighbors, first, do they? Don’t you grab the phone and dial for emergency services…the police and the ambulance? He’s duping so many and it started immediately after he shot her. This was all staged, in my opinion, to gain pity and support for himself. He recklessly killed a woman. Where are the tears for Reeva? I’m just so incredibly sad reading what these people were subjected to…a performance. A drama-rich performance of a very sick and pathological individual who was caught red-handed and realized there was no way out this time. People who have seen this behavior in others know. We just know. There is nothing scientific to back up what my intuition is telling me about this murder, and that’s okay with me. The justice system is limited. I understand.

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    • So, it looks like Oscar’s defence believes they can still continue. I don’t entirely agree with you there. Remember that Johan Stander was the administrator of the gated community where his house was. So, in a way it can make sense to call him first because he would of been closer and therefore would of gotten there sooner than the ambulance. Once he and his daughter had gotten there, they could of assisted him until an ambulance did arrive. Besides, Johan Stander said that calling the ambulance and the police were among the first things that he did after being contacted.

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    • Well, it’s clear you don’t agree with me on much. Hehe! If it were me that “accidentally” killed someone, I would immediately feel like it was my responsibility to call the police and ambulance. He called someone he knew in order to gain comfort. fuck Reeva’s comfort. Guilt over causing accidental harm is immediate. It doesn’t suddenly come over us. Much like his excuse for not apologizing to the Steenkamp’s sooner: because his attorneys said it wasn’t a good idea? Really? Someone who would suffer PTSD after “accidentally” killing his girlfriend would, no doubt, also suffer from frequent hyper-sensitive episodes resulting in inappropriate attempts to reach out and apologize to her family, friends and loved ones.

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    • I can only say what I would of done in that situation. I would of called an ambulance, yes, but if I knew anyone who was close by and could of assisted me until the ambulance arrived, I would of called them as well.

      Oh by the way, there’s another story going on at the moment. There’s been a complaint of intimidation laid to the NPA because Pistorius apparently approached Kim Myers (sister of Reeva’s best friend) in the court room during the adjournment this morning and said something to the affect of “How can you sleep at night?”. That was very stupid of him to do.

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    • Only an evil asshole would do such a thing in an attempt to intimidate and devalue. And he denies he said anything and has people Tweeting for him despite the fact police officers and journalists witnessed the moment. This will not work in his favor. It’s not that he’s stupid. He’s incredibly delusional and honestly believes he has done nothing wrong. His entitlement screams sociopath. He’s not remorseful nor is he sympathetic or empathetic to how Reeva’s murder impacts those closest to her. He hasn’t the capacity to understand such emotional connections. His only connections are to his own pathetic insecurities and need for power and control. He couldn’t control himself. He couldn’t just walk past that woman and NOT say something. Much like he couldn’t control himself the evening he grabbed his gun and went after Reeva who had locked herself in the bathroom trying to escape him. You don’t have to agree. Certainly you can believe he’s like you and had a conscience and simply made a mistake. Had an accident.

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    • I don’t think that it will affect his murder trial, though it could be another charge laid against him. I think that the context of his remark may be that he was upset over statements made to the media by the Myers family. Nonetheless, he shouldn’t of even approached them at all during the trial. I still don’t think that he’s a sociopath though. Sociopaths have specific diagnostic criteria and nobody has diagnosed him as one.

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    • Because one must consent to being diagnosed. A sociopath won’t consent unless it benefits him in some way. There are lots of people walking around with autism who aren’t diagnosed, but you could make an educated guess that they are. People walking around with PTSD undiagnosed, but you felt okay diagnosing him with PTSD. Such a shame people rely on the so-called experts to speak for them. Would you invite Pistorius into your home and into the lives of those you love? I think you could at least answer that questions without waiting for the experts to tell you what you should think.

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    • No, if it were picked up by his family and friends, he would of been diagnosed. Besides which, there is no evidence that he had any kind of conduct disorder before age 15 (his life story is well known and there’s a whole autobiography of him because he’s a well known Olympic athlete), which is one of the criteria required for a diagnosis. Actually, you can’t really guess when people have autism and most people guess wrongly due to a huge amount of ignorance of the disorder. I should know because, believe it or not, I have autism (Asperger Syndrome, in fact). I did not diagnose Pistorius with PTSD, I simply repeated an opinion made by some experts that read in magazine articles.

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    • Your experts are wrong. Just because your family didn’t alert a professional to your behavior doesn’t mean you aren’t a sociopath. Most Families won’t alert professionals because of the stigma associated with such a diagnosis (highly genetic), and in most cases, professionals can’t do anything because sociopathy is an untreatable and incurable disorder. And many autism spectrum disorders can be spotted even by untrained experts. Most sociopaths are spotted first by intimate partners, not so-called experts. More often than not, the sociopath fools the expert and that simply causes victims more cognitive dissonance because society likes to tell people, like you’re telling everyone here, that an expert’s opinion (because that’s all it is when it comes to those observing and not living with it) is the ONLY right opinion. Not true. If sociopaths were being properly diagnosed, more people who are victims of them would be getting the treatment sooner from their doctors not seeking out pages like mine for answers. (It must be something to live in a world where you can’t think for yourself. Really must be some place.)

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    • It’s not that I don’t think for myself but I would find an expert’s opinion more credible than a layperson’s, given that I haven’t personally been exposed to it. They’re called experts for a reason and that’s usually because they will have knowledge in the area that the average layperson doesn’t have. That’s also Pistorius’s defence “expert” Roger Dixon was ripped apart for testifying in areas where he wasn’t an expert. 😉

      You are correct though that sociopaths are capable of fooling and manipulating even the psychiatrists, that’s why they usually get 4 or 5 different ones to assess them.

      I’m sure that your blog helps many people. It generally looks good. I only found it because I was following the Pistorius case but your other blogposts good.

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    • Thank you, and I didn’t intend to insult you, but you simply put too much faith in expert opinions, considering most of us who follow blogs like mine experienced the failure of experts. I understand that court proceedings require expert opinions. I get that. But we are lacking experts who have direct experience. They’re simply guided by theory and textbook studies. The experts are often limited. A blog like this adds the experience the expert data and analysis often lacks.

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    • Jonathan, I understand 100% where you are coming from, but I have to agree with Paula’s assessment.

      Understanding what a sociopath is pretty much requires first hand experience. Prior to such experience you can be very smart, both intellectually and emotionally (high IQ and EQ) and even have read all about it, but it isn’t until you have actually experienced it first hand that you will ever understand it.

      That has been my experience at least. Prior to my experience with a sociopath, and without the subsequent advice of my mom who is a highly qualified and experienced clinical psychologist, I don’t think I would have had a chance of understanding. It took me a long time to first off understand the possibility of, and then to accept the fact that one of my closest friends was a sociopath. Even to this day I am still amazed at how incredibly charming and persuasive he could be. The things he could and did accomplish and the way in which he had almost everyone wrapped around his fingers was incredible. The odd person who didn’t trust the guy was always regarded as delusional by everyone else but when I look back at it, it was “obvious” all along what he was.

      I am by no means an expert on sociopathy (although I am aware that I know a lot more about them than most people), but what I can tell you is that, once exposed, a sociopath becomes very obvious to someone like me.

      Now that is not to say that identifying a sociopath is easy. The opposite is true even for most professionals who work in the field. Most sociopaths are extremely adept at hiding their true self from the world and any observer has to rely on them screwing up for you to see it. But if they ever do give someone who knows what to look for a glimpse of their true nature, the illusion shatters and it becomes obvious (the reason it is so difficult for a psychologist to spot it is because most sociopaths will be especially vigilant around someone they know might be able to expose them).

      I could write pages and pages about the little things that point to the fact that OP is clearly a sociopath, and still I would have detractors who will try and find an alternative explanation. It’s like looking at one of those magic 3D images that were all the rage in the 90’s and seeing the boat, clear as day, but no one else can. They’ll sit there full of scepticism, but to the person who can see it, it is simply obvious, and among us the resonance of that feeling is amazing.

      All I can say is that if you have an interest in sociopathy and learning how to identify one, look at Oscar Pistorius, Look at the things he does, the way he talks, the way people around behave and defend him. I am telling you that he is a sociopath. That to me it is obvious. I know this because I recognise it from a past experience and clearly Paula is coming from a similar experience.

      Of course one could easily say that this doesn’t prove that he is a murderer. And you’d be right. If OP was not a sociopath, there might just be enough doubt to find him not guilty on the charge of murder. But the fact that he is a sociopath – a fact that I pray Judge Masipa will be acutely aware of by now – rules out any possibly of doubt in my mind and certainly puts the probability of his innocence well below the threshold of any kind of reasonable doubt.

      One last point: Making a positive diagnosis of a sociopath is not an exact science and I believe that if any psychologist came out and made a public statement to the effect that he is one, there would be a very rapid lawsuit levelled against that person for defamation. Proving that someone is a sociopath is nigh impossible, so it would be very difficult to defend against such an action, so it stands to reason that any psychologist commenting on it would be very unlikely to make such an accusation.

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    • Great points, L Savage. Disclosing a patient’s diagnosis without their consent is one thing, but to make a claim as a professional who has not treated Pistorius would be a certain lawsuit for any certified/licensed expert in the field. It’s far safer for us, as laypersons, to argue our conclusions, which, in my opinion, are free of any hidden agenda. I’m just sharing, because I am passionate about making sense of sociopathy and believe having conversations about sociopathy is useful and may lead to breakthroughs for people still on the fence about someone in their personal life. Using a public figure as a model…even better!

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    • L Savage, I think that you misunderstood what I meant. According to the DSM, a requirement for a diagnosis of a sociopath is that they must of had a conduct disorder before age 15 and there’s no evidence that he did. The most that I can say about Oscar Pistorius is that he may of been a bit narcissistic (based on Gerrie Nel’s line of questioning and at least one expert I’ve read about has said that). However, I think that his narcissism stems more from “tall poppy” syndrome than anything else. If you’re arguing that at least some of his crying and emotional breakdowns appear to be out of context, then I agree but my problem then is that at least one of his out of context emotional breakdowns on the stand is perhaps one of the biggest pieces of evidence against him being a sociopath. Excuse my language but I really don’t think that a true sociopath would of broken down emotionally while reciting the words “Get the f*** out of my house!” if that would of exposed them. If Gerrie Nel (the prosecutor) was right about him breaking down emotionally at those words because that’s what he shouted at Reeva, then it seems to me that the breakdown was about guilt and sociopaths don’t have guilt according to my understanding.

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    • There is nothing in the DSM diagnostic list that makes it a requirement to have had a conduct disorder as a child. Not certain where your information is coming from but childhood behavior is never considered when diagnosing adults. Why? Because most children go through phases of conduct disorder. It’s called the teenage years, when their cognitive thinking skills are being fine-tuned and their empathy is forming.

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    • Oh, and I disagree that there would necessarily be enough reasonable doubt to get him off murder if he was not a sociopath. Since this trial doesn’t have a jury, a judge has to decide the verdict. Judges are trained to ignore the demeanour of the accused on the most part and only make a verdict based on the facts (unless it goes to credibility). The only time that his demeanour will really be considered in a South African trial is during the sentencing phase. Even though I don’t think that he’s a psychopath, I still think that he could be guilty of murder. You may be surprised by the verdict.

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    • No, my understanding is that the diagnostic criteria from the DSM-IV-TR clearly state that one has to of had at least some evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 in order to have ASPD (I’m not sure about the DSM V though because they’ve changed the setup to diagnose spectrums of disorders). The pattern of anti-social behaviour had to of been occurring since 15 years of age too:

      “DSM-IV-TR
      The APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV-TR), defines antisocial personality disorder (in Axis II Cluster B):[7]

      A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following:
      failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
      deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
      impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;
      irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
      reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
      consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
      lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;
      B) The individual is at least age 18 years.
      C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
      D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.
      ASPD falls under the dramatic/erratic cluster of personality disorders.[8] In the DSM-5, the diagnosis antisocial personality disorder is kept, but it is no longer on another axis as the other mental disorders.[9]”

      As you can see, it states that the onset of conduct disorder must of occurred before age 15 as by criterion C. There’s also the issue that he’s never really had a criminal record previously. The ICD has different criteria but it’s a requirement that any personality disorder diagnosed with the ICD should also satisfy a general set of criteria.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-social_personality_disorder#DSM-IV-TR

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    • (Your comment was flagged because you included a link. I like to moderate comments with links because of spam.)

      I believe none of us can say for sure how OP behaved or conducted himself as a child before the age of 15. Just because he has no juvenile record (that we know of) or heard from eye witnesses to that effect does not mean he wasn’t a royal jackass and manipulator as a young child or teenager.

      Let’s step outside of this trial for a moment and outside of the DSM criteria, which is lacking because it fails to consider the impact of victims of sociopathic abuse.

      Have you ever been impacted, that you are aware, by a person without a conscience, Jonathan? Do you know what it feels like to be considered as an object and possession by a person who claims to be your soul mate and best friend? Friend’s don’t behave as OP has behaved, especially in the aftermath of an “accidental” killing.

      And before you try to claim that everyone behaves and reacts differently, consider how having a conscience plays into how a person’s behavior would most likely be erratic and unpredictable in the aftermath of a traumatic event . If a person has a conscience, that person’s behavior is indicative of emotions that range and fluctuate from places of remorse, guilt, denial, shame and regret. There is little doubt as to that person’s level of remorse when observed by intuitive and analytical individuals. Intuitive and compassionate individuals can discern between real remorse and feigned remorse.

      OP has done a great job feigning emotions…copying behaviors and attempting to play into the collective compassion.

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    • Ok, I’ll concede. You could be right, but I would still like to see an expert opinion on this.

      Also, why are my comments going into moderation again? I promise you that I won’t attack anyone or try to downplay the experiences of people on your blog. I may sometimes disagree with their opinions but I do have great respect for them.

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    • I think you may have used a word I flagged a while ago and that’s why your one comment went into moderation. I’ve got to read it first. 🙂

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    • I didn’t mean to downplay anyones experiences. I haven’t been the victim of any kind of abuse, so I can’t comment on that. It’s just that everything I’ve read appears to suggest that one must be very careful about judgements assuming that someone is a sociopath if it doesn’t come from an expert who has experience in dealing with them. Look, this is a very emotional issue, I agree, and I have the utmost empathy for Reeva and her family, but what I have been trying to do in this case is put my emotions aside and look at the facts of what happened. I’ll finally make up my mind when the verdict comes through. However, I wasn’t talking about whether I thought he was guilty or not at all. I hear what you’re saying about being a victim but all I was trying to say is that people who actually have consciences can do terrible things and then cover up for it too.

      Thank you for the conversation and I wish you well.

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    • Oh, one more thing. There may be an alternative explanation and diagnosis based on Oscar Pistorius’s behaviour as you described it. You haven’t considered Narcissistic Personality Disorder as opposed to sociopathy because that can also explain everything that you’ve described. Here’s a link to the type of expert opinion that I was looking for (I guess this is going to be moderated again). It’s an audio recording of psychologist giving his opinion on a radio station:

      Cheers.

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    • Jonathan,

      I’d like to add that there is not a single victim/survivor of a narcissist or sociopath who came to their conclusion of their tormentor easily. It’s not as if any of us left the relationship and immediately thought, “Wow! Thank goodness I got away from that conscienceless sociopath.”

      The majority of us spent the entire relationship blaming ourselves for the relationship’s failure and toxicity. We were called bipolar or borderline by our abusers, which is an abuser’s explanation for why we were so cruel and unusual when and if we ever reacted to their abuse.

      So when I say my ex is a sociopath, rest assure that not only did I first suspect, investigate and talk to my counselor and psychiatrist about the possibility that i was the disordered one as I simultaneously dealt with depression, night terrors, alcohol abuse, and other triggers in the aftermath not fully aware that I was suffering from post traumatic stress, I read and re-read the criteria for every personality disorder in the DSM very reluctant to call my ex abusers anything other than “a not very nice person.”

      We can all be “not very nice” on occasion. How do we measure our degree of pathology and/or lack of pathology? We do what any trained professional would do and we dissect our past and every last relationship that we can dissect, from how we felt joy to how we felt sorrow. Generally, it’s pretty damn easy to measure a person’s conscience when we have one. We feel for ourselves while we also feel for others. We generally put our pain and suffering to the side when it’s clear others among us are suffering. we especially put our feelings aside when another’s pain is a direct consequence of “not so nice” behavior on our part.

      In addition, we empathize with others in their pain even when we haven’t necessarily experienced the exact same situation.

      Sociopaths count on people to use only measurable evidence (blood spatter, recordings, texts, eye-witness testimony) to judge them. To them, if you can’t prove what they were thinking in the exact moment they behaved in a “not so nice” way, they have a perfectly good reason why they behaved that way. And the perfectly good reason is always the fault of another. ALWAYS!

      “She asked me to treat her that way.”

      “He acted like he wanted me to do that to him.”

      “She behaved in a way that made me think she was an intruder.”

      “She wouldn’t answer me when I yelled for her to get the fuck out of my house!”

      “She shouldn’t have been behind that bathroom door and not saying anything to me.”

      Jonathan, you can continue to believe that OP isn’t pathologically disordered and that there is a perfectly good explanation for what he did. That is absolutely your right.

      It is, also, absolutely my right to say that there is no “perfectly good” explanation for why he chose to shoot blindly, 4 times, through a closed and locked bathroom door killing the only other person in the home that could have possibly been in that toilet.

      He was never in fear for his life. If a fear came over him, to alleviate that fear, all he had to logically do was reach out to the place his girlfriend should have been on the bed to realize, “Oh, silly me. It’s just Reeva taking a late-night tinkle in the loo.”

      Hmmm? I am certain the judge has gone there a few times in her head like the rest of us.

      And it took me almost 2 years of recovery to come to the absolute conclusion that my ex is a narcissistic sociopath who will never be accountable and will always and forever blame me and all of his exes for his “not so nice” behavior against us.

      I appreciate that you shared your links. Those who are clueless about sociopathy and narcissism may find them helpful.

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    • Fair enough. I’m sorry to hear your story.

      I never believed that he wasn’t disordered though. If you look at some things that he did in the past, he obviously seemed to of had some mental health problems ,to the point where Trish Taylor, his ex-girlfriend’s mother at one point wanted him to get him to have counselling before continuing to date her daughter. However, I just didn’t think it was sociopathy. I don’t want to downplay any of your experiences though and I’m sorry if I did.

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    • I don’t feel like you downplay my experiences. However, I do feel like you assume zero research was done on my part to make my conclusion about OP and sociopathy in general. I think because you are on the fence and uninformed and are relying too much on these so-called experts to make your conclusion, you assume that the rest of us haven’t thought about this enough. Well, experts are limited, just like the rest of us, by what they have been exposed to and experienced. You are limited, Jonathan. That is not an insult; that is an an honest assessment based on your collective comments. I’m not limited by my experiences with people like OP, unfortunately. In addition to dissecting my own experience, I receive at least three to four heartfelt, emotion-filled stories each week in my private inbox from victims/survivors. There are a few that I question. However, there are tell-tale signs of victims in their language and descriptions of what happened to them and how they were affected. There are more sociopaths in this world than any of us want to believe. Martha Stout puts the number at 4% of the population. Many suspect there are more. Don’t limit your understanding of sociopaths to only the serial killers you see depicted in film and books. Their evil isn’t always so easily measured. Your eyes and ears can deceive you because that’s what sociopaths hope. That’s what is behind OP’s performance in the court. The moment the news hit, my gut told me OP was no good and my gut has not waivered, it’s simply been proven and validated. I think you should read more blogs like this and learn what no expert can explain…how victims and survivors are affected by pathological people. If you can spot a victim, you will be more able to see pathology in action. The reaction of the sister of Reeva’s best friend after OP whispered in her ear is a good place to start. People don’t overreact to abuse. It’s the abuser that likes to claim we do. We react normally to abnormal acts against us. Your inability, Jonathan, to come to your own conclusion is why this world continues to see rape, abuse, sex trafficking, child molestation and greed in more and more abundance every day. I’m not picking on you when I say that. I’m suggesting you may want to consider how much you’re being influenced by those who spread the “accepted” information about why people do the things they do. It’s not pretty or easily explained by simply looking at their childhood. And there should never be excuses made for people who murder others. He killed a woman. He will see the inside of a cell for years to come. But my hope is that the ruling is just and proves what so many of us believe…he did it on purpose and in a moment of full awareness absent of anything remotely resemble a PTSD trigger. That’s simply the most ridiculous and insulting assumption anyone could consider. It’s blaming the victim for being at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person. No. The blame should be placed 100% on OP for being the person he is and for making the choice he made. No excuses.

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    • Hi Jonathan,

      From my sociopath experience (was friends with one at school) it does not surprise me that there might not be evidence of his behaviour prior to age 15. The reasons are simple: He was very careful not to be caught and he was a master manipulator of other people to the extent that he was able to talk his way out of trouble.

      In other words, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. It simply means he covered his tracks well enough to stay off the radar, and no one has really bothered to dig deep enough. Furthermore in OP’s case, being both a double amputee and a star athlete means that people would generally be a lot more receptive to cutting him slack and brushing stuff under the carpet. It would be fantastically easy for him to get away with all sorts of stuff that other kids would never manage.

      That being said, during his trial there was a flag raised that could indicate sociopathy from an early age. One of the first things he was asked when he took the stand was about his time at school. He tells a story about being bullied a few times at school and even got into some physical fights, but that he was taught to stand up for himself.

      A very possible scenario is he picked fights with people who had crossed him, knowing that he would always appear the victim. A very clever kind of bully: If he starts a fight with someone he knows up front that the other kid is going to get into serious trouble for picking on a disabled kid. Think about it, what kind of child picks on a disabled kid? It is almost always going to the other kid who gets labelled as the problem child. Exactly the sort of thing that a sociopath just loves.

      Anyhow, I realise that this doesn’t prove he is a sociopath, but it does remove the question you raised about that particular diagnostic criterion from the equation.

      My assertion remains that based on his statements and the things that have come to the surface during the trial, my “spider sense” is not just tingling, it is ringing so loudly it is deafening.

      What sociopaths excel at is explaining away the little things. And yes, looked at as individual events, these explanations are perfectly rational. But when you start putting them all together, you start to see a pattern emerging.

      This is guy who fired a gun in a family restaurant (red flag). He got his friend to cover up for him (red flag). He refuses to admit to it, saying, under oath that he didn’t pull the trigger, in spite of the forensic experts saying that is impossible.

      Even if you believe this story, what about the time he discharged a firearm from his car, out the roof? His counter to that accusation: The other two witnesses are lying.

      What about his blow up at the paralympics when another racer beat him. He threw a tantrum most unbecoming of what everyone believed to be his wonderful nature. Of course he was quick to apologise and return to his “normal” pleasant self, us the audience being completely unaware that this is just the mask he wears every day.

      During his testimony I paid close attention to exactly what he was saying, and Gerrie Nel (the state prosecutor) got it spot on when he called Pistorius out for never accepting responsibility for anything.

      And there a few things he said which really hit home his guilt:

      During his bail hearing, his argument was along the lines of “I didn’t do anything wrong, I loved Reeva, I can’t understand why I should go to jail”. Stop and think about what you would be saying if you had just killed someone you love by accident in a situation where you were doing something reckless and illegal (eg firing a gun through a closed door).

      During one of his breakdowns he was asked why he was so emotional. His response: “That was the night I lost the woman I loved”. If you hear the emotion in his voice, it sounds legit, that he is sad, and my gut response was sympathy. But stop and think about it for a few seconds and his actual choice of words betrays his true thoughts.

      If it was me, I would be upset because I would be wracked with guilt. The last thing I would be worried about is what I had lost. Sociopaths however lack the ability to feel guilt.

      There is obviously a lot more, things that I openly admit I would be oblivious to had it not been for my experience with one and the guidance I subsequently received.

      Please understand, I don’t blame anyone for doubting being unable and/or unwilling to recognise a sociopath. This is exactly what makes them so insidious, their ability to wrap us around their fingers at will to the point where most of us become willing participants in the deception. If I think about my experience, I would probably say that it was the “good” in me that stopped me from my friend for what he was for a very long time. I wanted to see the good in others. Sadly I have become a lot more cynical since then. I still believe in the inherent good in most people, but I have come to realise that evil does exist and, unlike in the movies, it rarely shows its true face.

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    • L Savage, it doesn’t surprise me that he would of been bullied given that he was disabled and didn’t have any legs. I was bullied at school because I was different due to my autism and I eventually stood up for myself, yet I’m not a sociopath. What could of happened, according what I’ve read, is that him never learning to accept his vulnerability as a disabled person could of lead to the development of Narcissistic Pesonality disorder because that’s what it is, they’re people who believe in an idealistic image of themselves as a defence mechanism against something that they have low self-esteem about. You can look it up.

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    • Paula, I can’t come to my own conclusion if I don’t have all the facts in front of and you saying that me or people like me are responsible for all the social ills is going a bit far. I’m not the one doing doing all those things. Let me ask you something? Would you not rather look for the causes of such social ills in order to find solutions? If you wanted to help victims of abuse, would you not rather support women’s shelters and the like that are designed to help them? Those are the things that will cause change, mob justice won’t. With regards to the Oscar Pistorius trial, all I’m saying is let the courts do their work and if he get’s found guilty, then he goes to jail. Yes, the justice isn’t perfect but I’d rather have that than a mob justice. There are two psychologists sitting in the court behind the prosecutor and assessing his every move and helping him. If he is a sociopath or narcissist or whatever else, then the court will decide that. Yes, I’m limited by things that I have no experience of but it’s not for me to decide anyway.

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    • The facts are before you, Jonathan. You CAN come to your own conclusion. And to suggest that my stance on OP, this blog, and the time so many of us take and have taken to understand sociopathy is “mob mentality” makes it clear to me that you are the one who resorts to the accepted mob mentality, not me.

      I don’t often defend myself, but I’m going to today simply because I don’t like people walking around with false assumptions about me anymore. It’s what happens when one is struck by a sociopath who continuously lies about you and makes himself look like the victim:

      I admit that I began writing my story for myself and to get the message to my ex, the sociopath, that I was on to him. (You see, he refused to answer my texts and emails or answer my calls; I resorted to a public forum.) My ex was not happy with my blog. But he didn’t have the respect to let me know himself. He hired a lawyer who sent me a cease and desist letter demanding that I take down my blog and stop calling his client a sociopath because it was causing him “mental anguish and loss of reputation.” I found that funny, yes funny, because I was the one always being accused of being mentally unstable, and the sociopath didn’t have a reputation to be damaged.

      To top it off, I was accused by the attorney and his client of not being “reasonable or prudent” because reasonable and prudent people don’t purposely go out of their way to hurt another. Right?

      Right! So again, I continued to feel much cognitive dissonance because I felt like all I was doing in my blog was stating the facts (leaving his actual name out of my writing) and how is being honest not reasonable and prudent?

      In this continued fog, more and more victims and survivors found my blog, and I realized I wasn’t alone. They realized they weren’t alone. A community was created. We learned to support each other and to encourage each other to heal and grow.

      We weren’t running around the streets screaming, “Off with his head!!” Imagine how crazy and insane we’d look to the real mob that continues to be controlled by the status quo and “proper” legal procedures?

      We were limited by words and social media connections. Many encouraged me to publish my story as an e-book…so I did. And then others asked for it in paperback. So I saved and figured out a way to do that so others could access my story.

      Fast forward two years: I’m a few short weeks away from earning my yoga teacher certification and recently enrolled in a health and nutrition coaching program. Why? Because yoga and changing my lifestyle helped me heal, and I’d like to help others heal and thrive as I am healing and thriving.

      That’s certainly not what a mob does, is it?

      I have a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a master’s degree in Communication and Adult Education. I am a collegiate lettered student athlete in cross country running. I was a member of AmeriCorps as a graduate student. I’ve worked as a volunteer language tutor teaching people English as a second language. I’ve worked with women in shelters and men and women in community corrections.

      Bottom line, I care about using all of my skills and abilities to help others through writing, teaching yoga, coaching healthy lifestyles, and I’m passionate about seeing people like my ex and Oscar Pistorius receive just justice.

      No one who advocates for justice woke up one day and declared that’s what they were planning to do. Doing this is never planned. We fall into these roles unknowingly.

      Personally, I am driven to keep others from flailing and making mistakes that I made in my quest to understand abusers like my ex and like OP. I can’t stop. I’ve tried because people have told me I’m an “obsessed fool” and that I’m only holding myself back by remaining in the community of victims/survivors.

      I’ve realized that leaving isn’t inside of me and that contributing in other healthy and creative ways is what I must do and what I want to do.

      I’ve also learned that it’s impossible to convince anyone of anything. Most people must learn for themselves, experience the evil for themselves. But I’m going to keep trying to spell it out as clearly as I can so those who haven’t experienced the evil may at least begin to believe it’s real and that victims and survivors aren’t exaggerating. We spent enough time defending ourselves inside the abusive relationship, so why hurt ourselves more by spending the rest of our lives trying to convince everyone else. Those who know just know. And those who have been in relationships with people like OP just know. It’s clear you would rather find an explanation for OP’s manipulative and evil nature rather than label him as manipulative and evil. That’s admirable, I guess, but taking that position won’t change or transform society.

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    • L Savage, I just want say one more thing because I can’t edit my comments here. I believe that he was lying about both gun related charges, there’s no question about that. His detachment from responsibility is also consistent with NPD. Some of the symptoms of the two disorders are similar but they’re not necessarily synonymous with each other.

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    • Paula, You misunderstood. I am not talking about you specifically. When I was talking about the mob, I was talking about the fact that most people judge on their emotions and do not consider all evidence equally, they judge evidence that contracts their view more harshly than the evidence that supports their view. It’s not an indictment on you, most people tend to do that with regards to issues that they feel strongly about but what I was saying, was that letting emotions govern when someone is guilty or not leads to mob justice. That’s why we have trials. The fact that most people were either unwavering in their belief that he’s guilt or unwavering in their belief that he was innocent before even hearing any evidence or facts at all just proves my point. To just give an example, Pistorius’s psychiatrist who testified today has said she has diagnosed him with a Generalized Anxiety Disorder which could of explained his actions that night if he was telling the truth (and I’m not saying that he is). I can hardly be pandering to the mob if the majority of people are saying kind of the same things that you are (most of them think he’s guilty of course).

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    • You put entirely too much faith in experts who are cherry-picking DSM criteria to fit OP’s defense. These experts are NOT taking a deep dive.

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    • Hi Jonathan,

      I think Paula said it best in her previous post. “Those who know just know”. The only reason I know is because of a personal experience of having a friend who is a sociopath.

      I realise this may come across as being condescending, but honestly, that is not my intention. The simple fact is that I too started out blind and worse yet refused to allow myself to believe what I was being told about my friend, even though it was my own mother who was telling me. It seems crazy now that I should have more trust in a friend than my own mother, but that should give some indication of just how manipulative a sociopath, even at age 15-16, can be.

      It took nearly getting into very serious trouble, and being faced with real consequences of an idiotic “prank” gone wrong to finally wake up and smell the coffee and recognise what was really going on, that my “friend” would happily throw me under a bus to avoid the consequences of something that was entirely his idea. I got lucky and I was able to exit the friendship without any serious repercussions. I did so not because I truly believed half the things I had been told about my friend but because I realised that in the very least he was a bit dodgy, and to continue my friendship with this guy would just get me into more trouble, something I was keen to avoid.

      What I did walk away with though was the seed of an idea and I guess that over the coming years I was able to see through his facade more and more. Even though I no longer associated with the guy, I was still in the same school and I was able to observe from a distance. I don’t know when it happened exactly, but after a few years I was finally able to see the guy for what he really was. There are times that I feel embarrassed at what a naive idiot I was, but more than that I feel horrified about what could have happened, or how that one individual could have potentially ruined my life by coercing me into doing something crazy.

      The good news for me though is that it taught me a valuable life lesson from which I have learned. Subsequently I have been able to spot a few sociopaths and I don’t know how else to put it, but when they present themselves it is, to me, really obvious. Not that I could have told you OP was a sociopath before he killed Reeva, but after that happened and all the stuff that made it into the news, it became obvious very quickly. It really is like I am seeing stuff that most people around me simply can’t, or won’t see.

      And before you ask, no, I don’t assume that everyone who claims to have accidentally killed someone is a sociopath. I live in South Africa and there have been several stories that made the news in recent years about people who have shot their loved ones thinking they were shooting at intruders. Accidents like that do happen here (lots of guns + crime induced paranoia = recipe for disaster), but something about Pistorius’s case stands out. It’s subtle differences, but to me, they are glaringly obvious.

      Ultimately no one can tell you what to believe, you have to decide for yourself. But pragmatism alone should tell you that if a bunch of people who have a history with a sociopath are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt about Pistorius, then it would be advisable to keep an open mind.

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    • “Pistorius’s psychiatrist who testified today has said she has diagnosed him with a Generalized Anxiety Disorder”

      This does not surprise me one little bit.

      Sociopaths can be remarkably adept at charming even trained psychologists. My mom, herself a highly qualified clinical psychologist, has even admitted to me that it can be very hard to recognise them in the therapist-patient environment.

      Remember that the job of the defense counsel is not to try and ascertain an accurate picture of how the psychology community views Oscar Pistorius. They just have to find one psychologist who is under his charms (and that’s another thing about sociopaths, they tend to have fan-clubs that form around them).

      It is my belief that most psychologists, in their private capacity, would recognise Pistorius as a sociopath. Certainly the psychologists I have been able to talk to about it all agree that he is, absolutely and without doubt.

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    • L Savage, again, thank you for sharing your thorough and thoughtful insight. One aspect of having an anxiety disorder that the psychiatrist failed to discuss was how anxiety is measured by our actions and reactions to our actions. The psychiatrist did a great job of listing why one MIGHT suffer from anxiety disorder as a result of health or imperfect childhood experiences like OP, but the expert failed to accurately illustrate how anxiety is outwardly manifested and measured over time.

      People with true anxiety tend to be anxious as a result of deep feelings of accountability, shame and blame. Oscar displays none of these. Those with true anxiety are often rendered unable to act because we need things to be perfect before we act, because if something doesn’t happen as we planned, its totally and completely our fault, no one else’s. Oscar blames everyone BUT himself. Those with true anxiety burden themselves with all of the fault. We run though our minds all of the possible outcomes and scenarios, which is why most don’t act or pursue our dreams. We try to be perfect before taking action, which reaching perfection is impossible, so we rarely act. Oscar has the opposite problem. He believes he is perfect and acts like a bull in a China shop, smashing through life with delusions of entitlement. Those with true anxiety can be controlling as a result of being so anxious and seeking perfection. However, when and if we do act and our actions fail or result in harm, the shame and guilt builds and grows deeper. Our anxiety grows. It’s a vicious cycle that destroys our self-confidence, self-respect and self-worth.

      OP displays zero accountability or remorse, which, as you have pointed to in some of his specific responses to being questioned about his harmful behavior, indicates that he is only suffering temporary anxiety due to getting caught and fearing prison time.

      It’s convenient for the defense to claim anxiety, but the diagnosis is grossly inaccurate and insulting to those of us who understand how anxiety leads to deterioration of self-worth, not inflated egos and deflection of accountability. Quite the opposite for those suffering true anxiety.

      OP is a sociopath. There is no doubt in my mind.

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    • Paula and L Savage, I know what you’re saying and sometimes psychiatric disorders are simply used by lawyers as a defence. However, there’s a slight problem with saying that he feigned those reactions. Remember when I mentioned the vomiting in relation to anxiety in a previous comment, especially with regard to the two other symptoms which I said couldn’t of been faked even by a sociopath (the sweating and the dizziness or nausea)? Well, he had all three, at least when this psychiatrist observed him. He was not only retching but apparently, he was both pale and sweating when he did this and those other two things cannot be faked. The problem with saying that he was only exhibiting temporary anxiety due to facing prison time, is that according to legal experts that I’ve heard about the trial, that would usually be exhibited close to sentencing and he not only showed it at the beginning of the trial but also directly after the incident and back when this psychologist evaluated him.

      Paula, I disagree with you that he hasn’t shown feelings of accountability and shame and blame. It looks to me like he has or could of shown them, accept that you believe that they were feigned. Also, it’s General Anxiety Disorder is not about a specific incident anyway, it’s a pervasive disorder that affects all areas of life.

      L Savage, you don’t come off as condescending. I live in South Africa too and that’s why his version of events initially sounded plausible to me when I heard about happened last year. However, like you, I also noticed things that have stood out about this case and so I suspected that he had mental health problems as well. The only difference is that I also took into account previous incidents, as given by his ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor where he had also taken out his gun in the middle of the night because he had heard noises. The one time the noise turned out to be the washing machine. I don’t doubt your experiences though.

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    • Jonathan, sociopaths fool everyone. I honestly have nothing further to clarify in support of my stance, which is built on solid evidence, research, and personal experience. I think you may be surprised by the experts who come forward AFTER the verdict is handed down.

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    • We’ll see. Gerrie Nel has made an application to defer Oscar Pistorius to 30 days of psychiatric observation to see if it’s true or not. If after the observation, they say that he’s a sociopath instead of suffering from GAD, then I’ll concede. If you can find me any evidence that vomiting together with sweating and nausea as a symptom of anxiety can be faked, then I’ll concede that too. This psychiatrist is not the first expert who I’ve heard from that says that this cannot be faked, that’s why I had mentioned it earlier.

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    • The prosecution is doing it because the defense KNOWS he’s a psychopath! If the defense thought he wasn’t, the defense would have petitioned for the evaluation.

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    • One more thing. OP’s defence never wanted to use the psychiatric disorder as another defence as what the prosecution is now wanting to do. They just wanted the court to take it into account, in order to assess whether his intention was to kill or not, in order to bolster his defence that he had thought he was shooting an intruder. The state wants that issue off the table.

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    • You can’t use a diagnosis of sociopathy as a defense. It only proves he’s a manipulator and a skilled liar. how would that work in his favor?

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    • I never said anything about sociopathy in that comment. Where did you get that from? I was not talking about sociopathy, I was talking about the GAD that I mentioned in the previous comment that the psychiatrist mentioned. I said that they were never planning to use GAD as a defence in terms of diminished responsibility as the prosecution is now wanting to do, they wanted to use it as part of an explanation as to why he would of reacted the way he supposedly did to believing their was an intruder. Remember that his defence was always that he had shot Reeva, believing that she was an intruder and that hasn’t changed. They were just trying to use the generalised anxiety disorder to further bolster that defence and that’s when Nel decided to request the observation to confirm it. That’s the explanation as to why the defence never requested a referral, because in terms of the law, they didn’t consider it to be mental illness that would of affected his ability to distinguish right from wrong in that instant (which would of been required for that to of been necessary), they just wanted it to be taken into account, in combination with his physical disability, when assessing how he would of responded to perceived “intruders”.

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    • Jonathan, I’m sorry, but you seem very naive. Like you’re a student only interested in someone spoon-feeding you answers and arguments so you can regurgitate them and feel safe doing so. Thinking outside of the collective box will garner you a lot more consideration and respect in this community. We’ve been going back-and-forth for quite awhile now, and you continue to defer to the experts, even after being provided many thoughtful responses filled with alternative considerations to give you a new way to look at the trial and Pistorius. Seriously? What is your purpose for continuously commenting if everything that is offered is going to be met with absolute resistance? Not even a consideration? Just you telling me essentially that I’m not an expert. That I’m an emotional victim, so I can’t possibly be right? So if I’m so wrong, why do you keep commenting as if you’re interested in what I have to say?

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    • I never said that you couldn’t possibly be right. I have already conceded that you could be right in a previous post, so your assertion that I haven’t made a consideration is incorrect. I was simply trying to put other factors on the table for you to consider as well. My initial reason for commenting here was simply an interest in the Pistorius case. Believe it or not, I’m commenting as if I’m interested in what you have to say because, believe it or not, I am interested. I’ve considered what you said and I am trying to come to my own conclusions, you can see that by the fact that I’ve changed my opinion several times throughout this comment thread. Coming to my own conclusions does not necessarily mean that I have to agree with you. We can agree to disagree. I’m continuing to comment here because I’m looking for information and if I disagree with your conclusions, it’s not that I’m not interested in your answers. If you don’t want me to continue to comment anymore then I’ll leave you to it and I won’t comment anymore.

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    • Your opinion changed as the expert’s opinions changed. It’s quite different from using your own thoughts to come to a conclusion. The only time you’ve considered what I’ve said is because it’s clear you were misinformed about the information you were sharing and you had to go back and re-read the experts to try disproving me. You couldn’t do that so you changed your mind. Without deferring to experts or to anything I share, what do you think, Jonathan? How does this trial make you feel? (You’re allowed to feel something. This isn’t the courtroom where our emotions don’t count.)

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    • Also, with all due respect, I felt that you were doing to me what you’re now accusing me of doing. I can give you the quote but you said in a previous comment the my “inability to come to my own conclusions” was responsible for issues like rape, abuse and sex trafficking. I think that’s unfair, I am not involved in any of those things.

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    • Of course you’re not involved in those things! That’s exactly my point. If you aren’t trying to stop those things directly or indirectly, you’re contributing to their perpetuation.

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    • One more thing. Just to clarify what I’m saying. I’m not saying that I’m unwilling to accept that he’s a sociopath. All I’m saying is that at this point of time, even given what you’ve told me, I’m not sure. I am completely willing to consider all those things you’ve told me, I’m just waiting waiting for the final outcome. I was commenting here merely because I was trying to find out why other people seem to think that Oscar Pistorius was a sociopath, it was never my intention to have others convince me of that. However, I was will to change my mind if I felt that the reasons were compelling and I already conceded that you could be right.

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    • Please don’t keep insulting me and wasting my time with your uncertainty, because there are people who contact me every day who are quite certain they need help and guidance to help them to heal and recover from people like Pistorius. THIS uncertainty is absolutely what allows society to deteriorate. Sitting on the fence waiting for others to take action. I’ve repeatedly asked you in various ways, “What do you think?” And you keep coming back with uncertainties or with links to information that I am already well-informed and aware exists. You absolutely do not need to agree with me for me to correspond with you. But it would certainly be more interesting if I felt like I was sharing what I know with someone generally interested in learning and understanding. My gut tells me that’s not your motivation. My gut tells me that you’re feigning interest so you can one day say, “See! The experts were right.” You do realize that the trial can only determine degree of guilt of the crime based on evidence, correct? The verdict will never provide you or anyone else with a definitive answer as to OP’s pathology. Tiresome is what you are, and I say that with no uncertainty.

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    • “I was commenting here merely because I was trying to find out why other people seem to think that Oscar Pistorius was a sociopath”

      Because we have been on the receiving end of a sociopath before and recognise exactly the same things in Pistorius.

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    • Thanks for the simple, clarifying answer, L Savage. I guess I can be a little too verbose with my answers. 🙂

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    • That’s completely incorrect. Look, my initial post here was simply interest in the case. I’m very sorry for how I’ve made you feel. I totally believe your experiences and I understand your anger towards my answers. If you want my honest opinion, then yes, I agree with you that based on your experiences that he could be a sociopath. I took acception to that statement because, honestly I don’t want to not take any action, I want to contribute positively so that such things are not simply allowed to happen. However, I don’t know how. I’m asking you advice, how can I contribute actively instead not doing anything? Can you please give advice to someone who has not had the experiences you have had on how I can provide support and not simply sit on the fence the whole time?

      This trial is a very emotive issue. It symbolises the high statistics of violence against women in South Africa, but it is also is an indication of violent crime in general and there are already too many people who think that it’s not their problem. I don’t want to be one of those people, I want to contribute positively but I also want to do it in the right way. Let’s not forget that wonderful person was shot and killed.

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    • Have a solid opinion based on the knowledge before you from both sides. That is how you can contribute positively, Jonathan. Don’t wait for a verdict. Use your intuition and your intellect and ability to discern truth from fiction. Consider the life that was taken and how careless Pistorius’s actions were regardless if he has GAD, PTSD, sociopathy or not. Make him accountable despite his history.

      Was he careless? Yes?

      Did he commit this murder intentionally? I believe he did. Regardless of which story you believe, it is quite clear that his intent was to kill whomever was behind that door, and that intent was established the moment he grabbed his weapon. This murder was no accident. Even if the victim were a stranger and not Reeva, the intent was to kill. Four shots fired?

      Based on my experience and the experience and testimony of others who have experienced people like Pistorius, he is a sociopath. I believe he is a threat to others and could easily harm others in the future. He has already proven that with his whisperings in the ear of Reeva’s best friend’s sister and in his 12-month delayed apology to Reeva’s family.

      Why was he never evaluated in the past 16 months? He said an evaluation is a joke, yet pleads he is traumatized. That’s contradictory and indicative of someone who is manipulative and who lies to suit his situation and impending consequences of his actions. He’s performing like a victim for the judge inside the courtroom and acting smug and entitled outside?

      What do you believe, Jonathan? You have failed to provide your position other than the fact you aren’t sure, you don’t have one, you’re waiting for others to make the decision for you.

      Be a voice and form YOUR opinion. That’s my wish. And I’m not angry. However, I am frustrated. 🙂

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    • L Savage, I hear you but after the last reply from Paula. All I want to know now is what I can do as someone who has not had experienced the same thing you had.

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    • Paula, thank you. I didn’t realise that that’s what you were asking me. My opinion from the beginning, was that at the very least, he was guilty of being reckless and should be sent to prison for that. I have been forced to change my mind, about a few months ago, initially due to the whatsapp messages (seemed emotionally abusive) and now because all the defence expert witnesses seem to of finalised their reports well into the trial, that he killed her intentionally. It looks to me like the defence seems to be tailoring their evidence to fit Oscar’s version. I’m not trying to use his past history to defend him, I think that he should be held accountable regardless. I think that he wasn’t evaluated by a psychiatrist in the past 16 months because the defence only thought about it recently, after OP put himself in a bad position while on the stand. These are all my own opinions, they are not based on what other people have said or any experts.

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    • Great! That’s what I wanted to know about your position and opinion. Why do you think OP ended up in such a muddy position after his testimony? If a person is sincere and honest, are they capable of getting into such a place? If a person is truly traumatized, why use “tactics” to defend himself?

      I believe his defense team has been duped. The defense team is attempting to make justifiable excuses for Oscar the way intimate partners/victims of these types attempt to justify their behavior. The relationship dynamic is obviously different but the need to support him and their previous position that Oscar did this accidentally is causing much stress and confusion for his team. Just like I and others experienced a betrayal bond, his defense team is experiencing the same.

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    • Hi Jonathan.

      My best suggestion is to listen to those who have had an experience with a sociopath and accept what they have to say at face value. Asking questions for the sake of learning more and getting clarity is great. Letting the victim share their experience in a supportive environment is almost always going to help.

      However try to avoid displaying scepticism because doing so undermines the victim. Suggesting that a victim did not experience what they say they experienced is probably one of the worst things anyone can do especially when it involves a sociopath because sociopaths are masters at downplaying and denying what happened to their victims.

      A case like the Oscar Pistorius trial, because of the high profile it has, can serve as an excellent platform for making people more aware of sociopaths and for victims of sociopaths to relate to. If you really are interested in learning more about sociopaths, I can think of no better way than watching how Oscar Pistorius behaves and how those around him react, whether they are people who have been hurt by him (eg Sam Taylor, Darren Fresco), or those who are still spellbound by his charms (eg his neighbour, Johan Stander who is convinced that his remorse was real).

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    • L Savage, I apologise. I didn’t intend to undermine the victims and I didn’t mean to suggest that an anyone who has experiences with them are undermined by those experiences. I absolutely believe your experiences. I was trying to come to my own conclusions about his specific issue in my own mind and I was really insensitive about that.

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    • Paula, I wasn’t sure why he would of ended up in such a position after his testimony. I thought that there could be a number reasons, including the possibility of blackouts etc during a traumatic event. However, I knew from the beginning that he wasn’t telling the truth about everything because a lot of his other testimony, including the ones in his gun related charges, are most definitely lies. What I couldn’t understand, was that if he were telling the truth, then surely it would make sense to plead guilty on those minor gun related charges, as the facts presented all suggest that he guilty of of them, if it would lead to a better credibility finding given the difference in seriousness between those charges and the murder charge. At least if he was truthful about everything else, then it would be more believable that his his inconsistencies about what happened on the night of the shooting shooting could of been due to other factors.

      His defence seems to be a moving target at this point, I seems like there’s something very wrong going on behind the scenes with his defence council and I’m not sure what. I can’t put my finger on what’s wrong though.

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    • I believe his defense team really believed Oscar’s actions were a direct result of him being terrified by a strange noise and that he acted in a hyper vigilant way due to his environmental conditioning. As the trial progressed and his defense team witnessed Oscar on the stand, they began to feel less and less certain of their original assessment. Oscar lacks honesty and integrity. It’s clear. His defense team is now experiencing a level of cognitive dissonance. How does his defense team reconcile their confusion and maintain their original assessment of the crime? By finding an expert who might be able to explain it away for them. Unfortunately, it’s only backfiring, because there is no defense for that which makes no logical sense once all the pieces begin to fall into place.

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    • The thing is, the issue with the defence team has been happening even before Oscar Pistorius took the stand. For example, the test with the splinters were done after the defence lawyer, Barry Roux, had found out that Mangena, the states ballistics expert hadn’t done them. The decibel and sound tests which compare the cricket bat to the gunshots were done after Alex Jason had uploaded a video of a similar test on Youtube, despite the issue being raised by earwitnesses before. They had access to all the states evidence and had a year to prepare, so it all doesn’t make sense to me. I also think that the defence team really believed his story in the beginning but what’s happening now is very strange to me. Unless, the evidence is now being tailored to fit the witnesses testimony under cross-examination, I don’t know.

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    • I think that is exactly what is happening. The evidence is being tailored to fit. In most trials, that’s what happens and is to be expected. However, in this case, it seems blatantly obvious because even trying to tailor the evidence, the pieces aren’t fitting. Plus, we must remember the defense team is getting paid big bucks to defend OP. They can’t simply concede to a loss. They must appear like they’re trying. They also have a reputation at stake.

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    • I already thought that they were going to concede to a loss after the sister of Roger Dixon’s testimony. Now, if after the psych evaluation, if it’s granted, they don’t find that he was suffering from the anxiety disorder that was mentioned, they will have no choice but to concede a loss. I think that it will be granted tomorrow and then the trial could be delayed by 7 months, with 6 of them spent while he’s on the waiting list.

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    • One more thing, I don’t want to make any excuses but I’m quite literal. That’s why I didn’t understand what you were asking me about my opinions before. I’ll answer direct questions though.

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    • I understand. I’ll remember that in the future.

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    • I found it strange that at the end of Roux’s questioning of Vorster (the psychiatrist) she testified that she found Pistorius to be remorseful and that he felt guilty for what he had done – which was in sharp contrast to his stance when he was on the stand and refused to say as much despite being pressed on the issue by Nel.

      Then later I found out that she evaluated him on 2 May – after his testimony – and it all makes sense.

      The fact that Pistorius failed to show any remorse during his testimony (he showed sadness about what he had lost as opposed to guilt for what he had done) was a huge mistake and the defence counsel realise this. Remember, Pistorius was not allowed to consult with his defence counsel during his cross-examination so even though Roux would have known that Pistorius was digging himself in deeper, there is nothing he could have done about it.

      The truth of course is that OP, being a sociopath, has no capacity for feeling guilt, hence he does not understand that a normal person would feel guilty if they had killed someone by accident, hence why he made such a hash of his testimony. I think in his mind he believed that saying on the stand that he felt guilty would be tantamount to admitting guilt to the crime.

      This psychiatric evaluation, however, gave the defence an opportunity to rectify that mistake and get it on record that OP is remorseful. All I see though is a cynically transparent move which simply shows Pistorius to be a liar. He either lied on the stand or he lied to Vorster during his assessment. Of course the defence would like to have us believe that he wasn’t lying, he was simply suffering from anxiety and therefore couldn’t express himself properly.

      Anyhow the funny thing now is that ironically this ploy could very well backfire on the defence. Up until now the prosecution couldn’t use any kind of psychological or psychiatric assessment without OP’s consent, and of course that would never happen. But this has given the state just that potential opportunity. If OP is sent for psychiatric evaluation, Nel gets to choose the psychiatrist, and then there is a good possibility that he is found to be highly manipulative and a pathological liar, a finding which would now be admissible in court, and which would absolutely hurt his case immensely.

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    • The most glaring flag I see with this GAD defense is that it’s absolutely not plausible. We’re to believe that OP has been living, undiagnosed and untreated, with GAD his entire adult life while competing on a worldwide stage in the Paralymic and Olympic games?

      Impossible! No one with GAD who isn’t properly medicated and/or treated could be as arrogant and entitled and non-accountable as Pistorius. Those with GAD have deep feelings of worthlessness and marked anxiety about not being good enough. These deep feelings paralyze GAD sufferers from taking action or making decisions. When a person with GAD finally does act, and his/her actions result in failure or the harm of another, the person with GAD suffers from so much pain and guilt that he/she begs for punishment. He/she would NOT find excuses for his actions, not even in a murder trial…ESPECIALLY in a murder trial. The GAD sufferer would plead guilty and beg for the harshest punishment.

      Also, I GAD sufferer would not rush to a locked bathroom door and shoot blindly into it. There is too much uncertainty. A GAD sufferer would experience confusion and instead race around the house searching for their loved ones before confronting the supposed threat.

      There are too many obvious holes in the psychiatrist’s flawed suggested diagnosis. After all, she did not speak to OP directly, did she? She just interviewed his family and friends and used OP’s testimony to support her findings. Extremely careless and reckless on her part, much like the client they are trying to save.

      The defense is grasping.

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    • Actually, she did get to speak to him and assess him directly on 2 occasions. The rest of her conclusions were based on interviews with his family and friends. I don’t know if this enough for a proper assessment though, that’s why he’s being referred.

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    • Wonderful, people who do have GAD in South Africa are now worried that the Pistorius trial will cause stigma for them. That’s under stable because the condition is not actually dangerous, regardless of what was said inside the courtroom. That’s why I don’t like it when people try to use relatively benign mental disorders to get off criminal charges.

      Hopefully, the psychiatric panel will determine the truth about whether or not Pistorius did actually have anxiety symptoms at the time of the murder.

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    • It’s heartbreaking for people who have GAD! And for disabled people who are now under a self-microscope wondering, “Wow. Am I dangerous and unstable because I lost my limbs at a young age? Are people going to fear being my friend or spouse or significant other?”

      What Pistorius experienced that night is a pathological rage…a break…due to his inability to relinquish control over another human being, Reeva Steenkamp.

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  5. Thank you for your article. I fervently hope that Pistorius be found guilty of premeditated murder. A classic manipulative narcissist. So self absorbed, liar and he thinks he can get away with what he has done. He sickens me. His family is just a bunch of pathetic enablers. Surely they know that Oscar is not compos mentis.

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    • The trial continues in a few days, right? The entire spectacle makes me anxious. I believe many suspect he is lying. I agree that his family enables his behavior. Considering he’s such a celebrity, I suspect that his reputation and public acceptance directly affects his family’s reputation and acceptance, so enabling him serves to enable themselves. It’s very twisted and unfortunate.

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  6. If they weren’t so destructive and evil a person could feel sorry for them because under the right (wrong) circumstances they really are pitiful. He must be panicky inside, I am sure this isn’t going as well as he anticipated, they are used to getting off and even if people don’t believe them they get away with crimes just because they refuse to break and admit guilt. I can hear JC telling my son, “No matter what they have on you, just deny deny deny, never admit to anything. What can they do? They have to let you go.” My son got in trouble with the law, he stole things, passed bad bills but when he got caught he told the truth and took his lumps. The female cop came up to me in the courtroom and said she had never arrested a more respectful and polite teenage boy. She said she knew he would straighten out his life.. I think most people, if they have a moment of weakness and commit a crime they will come clean, their conscience just does not allow them to lie but a sociopath has no problem telling lie after lie and more lies to cover those lies. They say that they are so lacking in conscience that a lie detector will not work on them because they don’t have the normal body and brain responses to lying. They can view horrific pictures and not have the typical subconscious bodily reactions or brain waves as a normal person.
    It is rather chilling now to see it happening in this case. And we sit here and pray the judge realizes what he is dealing with because if he doesn’t it could go either way. I have a horrible feeling he is going to get a slap on the wrist and just carry on with his life.

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    • The judge is female. Isn’t that interesting? And a non-pathological person who got caught red-handed like Pistorius would be begging the courts to lock him up. He would be suffering so much guilt and remorse that he would have tried killing himself several times by now. But not these duckers. Pistorius tried to resume training last spring and requested his passport so he could holiday and “fall in love.” Ain’t that special?

      No matter how much support and guidance one receives following a tragedy or traumatic situation like this, it takes far more than a few months to move through the shame, remorse and regret in order to be able to function independently in any capacity. It takes a sociopath little time, and they never exercise internal reflection, it’s always, “Who is to blame? Oh, yeah, she’s to blame, the burglar is to blame, my childhood is to blame, and the high crime rate in SA is to blame. Not my fault. My hands are clean of this crime.”

      Garbage. He is trash, just like the rest of the bastards who refuse to be accountable and see themselves for what they really are.

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  7. Another great piece on this topic, Paula. So caught up is he in his self-created delusions, he can not see how far his behaviors really deviate from authentic responses to trauma.

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    • He claimed today on the stand that’s he’s tired and that’s why he’s making mistakes!!! OMG! When we are tired, we are vulnerable and that’s when our truth surfaces…unless we’re pathological liars.

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    • Yes!! I thought the same thing when I read he was “tired’. Reeva is dead. Makes “tired’ pale in comparison.

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  8. I haven’t been able to watch this trial. I don’t fear finding out the truth…I do fear the triggers.

    The truth is he killed her. The truth is it could have happened to me. The truth needs to be spoken.

    I thank you for your extensive analysis.
    You’ve saved me many hours of screaming at the t.v. in disgust.

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  9. Paula, this is such a well written analysis. The fact that he was crying claiming he is the victim makes me sick! Victims never refer to themselves as victims, they don’t even know they are victims.

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  10. Very true Paula, Even when Kennedy was shot Jackie had his brains fall in her lap, she never even changed her clothes. People witnessing his dramatic emotional account of what happened and all the trauma he has suffered since see the tears and hear he was vomiting and think he must be innocent because a cold blooded killer does not have emotions like that. What they don’t realize is that these people are academy award winning actors. JC could turn on the tears like a switch, tears streaming down his face, hands shaking, lower lip quivering. Just because he puked at the smell of blood doesn’t mean he didn’t do it. When my dogs attacked that dog they were covered in blood and I remember the smell, it was horrible but I was too busy laying on them to prevent them from getting away, I was so scared I had peed myself, I was covered in blood and the first thing I did (after changing my pants) was call the police to report it. I didn’t wash, It is nothing compared to killing your lover i am only saying, yes the smell of blood and the look of blood everywhere is traumatic but in the heat of the event you may make mental note of it but it really is the last thing you are concerned about.

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    • OMG, Carrie, Yes! Exactly! We lose all ability to function “normally” during these types of events and in the immediate aftermath. Can you believe Oscar claims he never told Reeva he loved her yet claims that she went to bed that night knowing she was loved? Which is it? You told her or you didn’t tell her you lived her? He’s a liar and a bad one.

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    • If a person is aware they are really horrible liars. The reason they get away with it so often is people AREN’T aware of what an N is so they fill in the blanks for the N. So many times I would walk away after a big fight with JC and go “Hold it!, he just totally contradicted himself!” Or he would totally bust himself a month later when he was trying to prove some other lie he had told. Half the time I just let it go because it wasn’t worth the fighting and gaslighting and he’d just spew more lies. People see a grown man cry and show weakness and right away people believe him because men never let people see them cry so people think he must really be hurting. A cold blooded murderer wouldn’t cry.
      But!! When a woman gets emotional and cries they say she is hysterical and irrational. Go figure

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    • Lol if it wasn’t so tragic and sad it would be funny. He goes in saying he loves her with every fiber of his being thinking that will prove he didn’t kill her on purpose. Then it starts to look like they are saying he killed her because he “loved” her so much he couldn’t stand the thought of losing her and now he’s saying “I loved her but not enough to tell her I loved her” maybe I didn’t love her that much. How much do you want me to love her?

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    • It must be excruciatingly frustrating to always rely on the reactions of others to know how to react yourself. One thing we do know and understand very much is that these fools really do need us. They need us to know how to act and respond to all situations. All questions. All circumstances. He’s completely alone this week. The South African courts disallow defendants to communicate on any level with their lawyer during questioning by the prosecution. He’s gradually lost all ability to relate with each passing day. He does not know what to say or how to feel. He has nothing and no one to mirror. He’s getting zero cues!!

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