The USMLE frequently confuses us in the differentiation of Dysthymia and Major Depressive Disorder.
In order to diagnose Major Depression at least 5 of the following clinical features should be present for at least two weeks.
The mnemonic is SIGECAPS
- Sleep disturbance (increased or decreased)
- Interest reduced (not enjoying anything)
- Guilt sensation and worthilessness
- Energy loss and fatigue
- Concentration problems
- Appetite problem (increased or decreased)
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation
These are usually accompanied by anhedonia, loss of sexual drive, and numbness of mood