Hundreds of people are calling in to a charity that helps people with an anxiety dubbed the “Oscar sickness” after Oscar Pistorius was diagnosed with it.
The people are concerned that their relatives, who may have the disorder, could become violent.
Pistorius is currently on trial in South Africa on the charge of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the apartment that they shared.
Pistorius has admitted that he shot Steenkamp but says that he mistook her for an intruder.
Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Merryll Vorster recently told the court that Pistorius suffers from general anxiety disorder, prompting him to be taken to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Cassey Chambers, director of the group, told the South African Times: “Many people have become nervous about telling others that they have GAD in case people also start to think that they are dangerous or violent. “I don’t think GAD had gone unnoticed before the trial. It’s always been around, but I think because the trial is so high profile it’s a very hot topic.”
“We have had people asking if their loved ones with GAD need to be hospitalised immediately,” she added.
The Pistorius trial is adjourned while the diagnosis of Pistorius is carried out.
Judge Thokozile Masipa said that the law says that a defendant should be referred for an evaluation if mental illness or mental defect meant that they “might not be criminally responsible.”