I Am a Mental Health Worker...
I am a mental health worker, and I see how much antidepressants help people. Plus I have been taking Zoloft for nearly ten years. I weaned off of it last year and did not take it for over a month. I thought that maybe I didn't need it anymore. Well, I realized how much I do need it. I became SEVERELY depressed with suicidal thoughts. Even with my many coping skills, I could not pull out of it. I went back on the Zoloft and the depression was alleviated after several weeks. I know that antidepressants work.
On the other hand, I do think that sometimes people are too quick to go on antidepressants. It is important to explore the causes of the depression. There may be real reasons that a person is depressed - life situations that need addressed. I had tried therapy and many other things before I went on an antidepressant.
Some people look for a quick fix and think that medication is the answer. Sometimes one needs to do some hard work and make some major life changes. Depression can be a sign that a person needs to change, do something, stop doing something, etc.
Although antidepressants do alleviate the biochemical part of the depression, they do not change circumstances. Zoloft does not just make everything alright, it does not make me happy, it does not create a fantasy world...it only alleviates the depressive symptoms. I still have pain in my life, I still have struggles, and I am still human. The zoloft just alleviates my depression so that I can function and live a "normal" life and experience "normal" human feelings.