Being listless, tired, feeling sick, wanting to hurt yourself, sleeping all day etc, for no reason is depression. If you have a reason it's sadness.
When you sleep for a week because your cat died, that's sadness. When you sleep for a week just because that is depression.
It's a medical condition, a chemical imbalance. Not an emotion.
Take the meds for three months. If you feel better, then you have chemical depression and they are helping. If you don't, you can choose to try something else or stop medicating.
And if you ARE just stressing out about school, then it might help take the edge off and make things easier on you. Stress can cause chemical depression, and then that makes things worse. Correcting the chemical imbalance can give you more energy and focus so you can take care of everything that is overwhelming you, then you don't need to worry about it anymore.
You don't have to be medicated for life. You can try something for a while and then stop.
That's true, you can have situational depression. But if you can't get out of the situation then you might as well correct the resulting chemical imbalance first, then you can deal with correcting whatever is wrong.
The thing is...I'm named after my mom's best friend...who had depression and took medication. But when she was 18 she went off it and killed herself...she couldn't handle being off of her medicine, she was used to it. My goal for 6 years so far has been to work at not needing my A.D.D. medication anymore. I'm getting better. But what if I end up like her? What if I can't ever go off the medication?
It's Zoloft. The point of a med like this isn't to promote a "fake happy". It's to remedy the hypothetical biochemical problems that may be preventing genuine happy from arising. Wanting to cry all the time and stay in bed all day isn't a normal reaction to anything, and it's the depressions that come up for no good reason that are the ones to seek particular help for. (When real shit happens, it's normal to react with sadness. Sadness with no cause is something else, especially when it interferes with your normal activities.)
What kind of a doctor are you seeing for this? Managing antidepressants is something for a psychiatrist. IMO, a family practitioner or pediatrician has no business prescribing them. If that's who's writing the scripts, insist on seeing a psychiatrist before you take ANYTHING. Also IMO, not even psychiatrists always understand what these things do to people, but they're better qualified than other doctors for whom treating psychiatric problems is outside their specialties.