SIG-E-CAPS

Originally when a physician would write a prescription, the abbreviation “SIG” would be written which was to mean directions. The "E" CAPS was to remind the prescriber to write

 E nergycapsules for depression (antidepressants).

 Hence:  SIG:  E.   CAPS 

There, aren’t you glad you know that??           

("SIG-E-CAPS") mnemonic explanation: this mnemonic can help you remember the vegetative signs that can be involved in depression.

S leep changes: increase during day or decreased sleep at night
I nterest (loss): of interest in activities that used to interest them
G uilt (worthless):  depressed elderly tend to devalue themselves
 
E nergy (lack): common presenting symptom (fatigue)
 
C ognition/C oncentration: reduced cognition &/or difficulty concentrating
A ppetite (wt. loss); usually declined, occasionally increased
P sychomotor: agitation (anxiety) or retardations (lethargic)
S uicide/death preocp.

 PEARL of WISDOM

QUIRKS” about the ELDERLY and depression.

WHEN DEPRESSED, ELDERLY ARE:  

MORE LIKELY TO:  LESS LIKELY TO:  
Give somatic complaints To directly complain of depressed mood*
Feel worthlessness, rather than guilt  
Demonstrate hypochondriasis  
Have psychomotor retardation or agitation  
Manifest psychotic delusions  
Commit Suicide:
Age > 65 = 13% of pop. but commit 25% of suicides.
Risk factors for suicide: (living alone, male, alcoholism, comorbid physical illnesses)