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Memory Aid

Use this memory aid for the diagnostic criteria of Major Depression. In addition to depressed mood, five of the following symptoms must be depressed or abnormal for a period of greater than 2 weeks.  Some people also use this memory aid when following people suffering from depression and monitoring response to treatment.

memory aid: SIGECAPS

  • S - Sleep - insomnia/hypersomnia

  • I - Interest - decreased

  • G - Guilt 

  • E - Energy - decreased

  • C - Concentration - decreased

  • A - Appetite - decreased/increased

  • P - Psychomotor - retardation/agitiation

  • S - Suicide - ideation, intent, plan

The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale has been widely used in research and is an example of a tool that evaluates symptoms of depression, some people use tools like this in practice to monitor response to treatment[6].


6. McIntyre RS, et al. Measuring the severity of depression and remission in primary care: validation of the HAMD-7 scale. CMAJ 2005;173(11):1327-1334.

All references for this section