Thousands of Oregonians with depression left untreated

, Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Tue, August 12 2014 at 6:17 PM, Updated: Tue, August 12 2014 at 6:53 PM

Medford, Ore. -- A study from the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association shows 270,000 Oregon adults deal with depression each year, and less than half of them get treated.

Medford woman Patricia Wells is one of the adults who knows first hand what it's like to deal with the debilitating disorder. She has battled depression her whole life. At one point she even tried to take her own life.

Wells said she hit rock bottom 20 years ago.

"I was going through a divorce and they tried to give me Prozac and that did not work well for me," Wells said.

The stress and the medicine sent her on a quick and life threatening emotional roller coaster. Within one week of being on Prozac she tried to commit suicide.

"At that point you feel like there's absolutely nothing you can do. it's hopeless," Wells said.

According to Maslow Project Mental Health Counselor Lacey Renae depression is different for everyone.

"Depression can be anything from feeling worried, feeling sad, feeling in a low mood, not taking part in activities that you once took pleasure in before," Renae said.

She said although the statistic is sad, it's not surprising. Many people don't have access to help.

"A big reason is probably poverty and homelessness in Oregon," Renae said.

But the day depression caused Wells to try to take her own life was a turning point.

She has since gotten help and medication that works for her. She pleads with others to get help too.

"It's worth it 1,000 times over. It will save your life," Wells said.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

In Jackson County there's help at the Jackson County Mental Health Services on E. Main St. in Medford.

Homeless youth and families can also get help through the Maslow Project.

Here is a list of more resources in Jackson County:

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About the Author

Kassi Nelson

NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.

She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.

She loves skiing and live concerts!

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