Geriatric Depression is not new, but as Baby Boomer's continue to age we are going to see a whole lot more of it, so says Geriatric Psychiatrist Dr. Muralidhar Krishnaiah.

Flickr User Jennifer Morrow

The numbers released by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, already estimates that 6.5 million Americans, who are 65 and older already have depression that often goes undiagnosed.

The fear is that untreated depression will result in increased numbers of geriatric suicide.

Dr. Krishnaiah says recently widowed white males over 65 have a significantly high risk for suicide.

Free Workshop at Barnabas Health Center

That's why the Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center in Toms River is hosting a free workshop today for Physicians and Health care workers to recognize the signs, symptoms and Treatments of Geriatric Depression to prevent suicide among the elderly population.

Krishnaiah says seniors who are depressed are going to their primary care physicians first because in seniors, depression often masks itself as a physical health condition.

He says you will hear common theme among those depressed. They'll say something like, "Everything in my body aches. I don't feel good. I'm not going to the bathroom."

Dr. Krishnaiah says depression is also associated an increased perception of pain. He says the previous sensitivity of the pain threshold goes down and so they have this increased heightened pain.

Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center says the workshop is aimed at helping medical professionals take part in diagnosing and treating geriatric depression; exploring alternatives to medicines and discussing the benefits of other medications. Participants will hear from Dr. Krishnaiah, a PharmD and a Director of Inpatient Social Work. He says healthcare professionals can also receive two continuing education credits.

Krishnaiah says if someone is in need of help call 1-(800) 300-0628.