SIGECAPS Explained

SIGECAPS or SIG-E-CAPS is a popular mnemonic used to describe the eight signs of major depressive disorder (MDD). Major depressive disorder is also known as major depression, unipolar depression or clinical depression. It’s persistent low mood and self esteem or such episodes of two or more weeks, without a history of Manic, Mixed, or Hypomanic Episodes. When these episodes are accompanied, it’s a bipolar disorder and not MDD. [jpg]

The depressions in MDD doesn’t arise as a result of other psychosis, substance abuse, trauma or other medical conditions. SIGECAPS are the 8 below signs of Moderate depressive disorder. To diagnose MDD  at least 5 signs of SIGECAPS must be present for at least two weeks of duration.

  •  Sleep disturbance – Sleep disturbance may be in the form for increased or decreased sleep. Early morning wake up, late night sleeplessness, oversleeping, laziness or any of these may be associated.
  •  Interest reduced – Lack of interest leads to zero initiative and drive. Day to day life both at work and home suffers. Individual tends to pend anything and everything. Also sex drive is reduced.
  • Guilt sensation and worthlessness – This happens without any reason. Patient starts thinking that, whatever he did was all wrong and he has no personal value in the society. He starts avoiding contact with people and social atmosphere.
  • Energy loss and fatigue – Lack of energy is obvious and goes side by side with reduced interest. Easy fatigability without any physical disability is another sign.
  • Concentration problems – Fleeing of Ideas, lost look, disinterested attitude leads to loss of concentration. This causes memory issues and frequent forgetfulness.
  • Appetite – Appetite may be increased or decreased markedly.
  • Psychomotor – Psychomotor agitation or retardation may show up.  It involves a aggravated or slowing-down of thoughts and change of physical movements in an individual. Psychomotor retardation can cause a visible slowing of physical and emotional reactions, speech and affect.
  •  Suicidal tendency or Suicidity  –  At severe stages, frequently a MDD patient may have suicidal thoughts.  In the United States, around 3.4% of people with major depression commit suicide and up to 60% of people who commit suicide had depression or another mood disorder.


So, SIGECAPS is just Sleep , Interest, Guilt, Energy, Concentration, Appetite, Psychomotor and Suicidity.

More about Major Depressive Disorders

The very first cause of the major depression disorder is having a depressed mood and less interest and pleasure in activities. Mainly those children who are suffering from the major depressive disorder always get irritated instead of depression.

Other Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorders

The following symptoms will occur daily and for at least two weeks:

  1. Major change in weight
  2. Excessive sleep
  3. Retardation
  4. Loss of energy
  5. Fatigue
  6. Continues feelings of guilt
  7. Lack of concentration
  8. Negative thinking or attempt of suicide

Core Problems in Major Depressive Disorders

  1. Social Impairment
  2. Sad feeling
  3. Hostility mostly seen in 18 or younger

Associated Problems in Major Depressive Disorders

  1. Unnecessary feeling of worthless or guilt
  2. Full day physically tiredness
  3. Very poor Concentration
  4. Sleeping disorders
  5. Eating Problems
  6. Less sexual interest
  7. Reduced expressions like speech, emotion, and even body movements

Major Depressive Disorders: Problems When Severe

  1. One suffering from it needs a total medical care
  2. Excessive Fear of particular things
  3. Attacks of Panic
  4. Drug Abuse
  5. Alcohol Abuse
  6. Unnecessary tensions and worry
  7. Overly Dependent Behavior
  8. Bad or poor physical health
  9. Memory problems

What Causes Major Depression?

The severe major depression cause mainly can be a strong biological, rather than psychological one. So it is the question that ‘is genetics or stress plays the major role in causing major depression’ and the recent research has shown that both the factors are mainly responsible for major depression. Stress is the main cause only in the first two episodes of major depression, and will not be present in the later ones. But the genetics and temperament are the main leading role for other episodes of depression.

That means the stress is just the start of the major depression but after some duration it develops its own momentum and then stress is no longer needed. This is a common pattern seen in many medical cases. Thus, the treatment of depression is the stress, genetics and temperament should be considered equally.

Main Symptoms of Major Depression

These symptoms mainly cause clinically significant distress and also affects ones social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. Following are the main symptoms seen during the same 2-week period and at least one of them is :

  1. Depressed mood
  2. Loss of interest or pleasure

One more important thing is these are the symptoms, which are not due to the physiological effects directly of any thing like a drug of abuse, a medication and not even a general medical condition like hypothyroidism. Other causes of these symptoms can be the loss of a loved one. When the symptoms occur for longer duration of say more than 2 months then other symptoms like suicidal ideation, psychotic symptoms, or psychomotor retardation also appears.

Major Depression Facts

In this era it is being concluded that major depression is the very savior and at second position in the world after heart disease. Now days the major depression is becoming the common problem and it is growing day by day. In the western world it became the very first reason for the psychological disorders. This major depression is occurring in all the age groups and mostly observed fact is that this is common in young age group especially teenagers are prone to this disease.

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