A growing sense of 'oddness'

Some psychiatric conditions may develop gradually, making them difficult to diagnose

Jason is a 17-year-old high-school student, living with his mother and younger sister in a small town.

His mother’s concerns about Jason’s absent-mindedness and lack of motivation cause her to consult the family GP about whether her son is depressed.

During the past six months, Jason has seemed low in mood and lacking in motivation and ‘drive’, often sitting on the couch staring with a vacant look on his face as if the world around him doesn’t exist.

When asked if anything is wrong he tends to shrug his shoulders. Sometimes he wanders aimlessly through the house or garden and mutters to himself.

Jason had previously done reasonably well at school but recently his marks have deteriorated.

He admits he finds it increasingly hard to concentrate and be attentive. His previous sporting and social activities have gradually dried up and he feels increasingly isolated during recess