I was on antidepressants on and off for years (7 years?), with a few failed attempts at getting off of them, and have now been off of them for about 2 years and am doing great. I think I've come to know my body and know when I'm slipping backwards again, and it's during those times that I really focus on giving myself the things I need to be mentally healthy.. good diet, exercise, social interaction, etc. That has seemed to work for me since I got off the meds. I am NOT saying I think that works for everyone or knocking those that do take meds, at all. I think that if they make you feel better, why not take them? Life is too short to be miserable when there's a way out, even if it happens to come in pill form. I wouldn't be opposed to going back on them if I felt like I really needed to, but so far I'm doing okay. When I was on them, I had a hard time at first accepting that I needed a pill to make me happy, but you have to keep in mind that there's something wrong up there in your brain, and the drugs are fixing it, and bringing you back to normal. If it works, why not??
If you do come off them, make sure you're really conscious of your mental health and catch yourself immediately if you feel you're starting to slip again. Really make an effort to stay healthy.. keep up the working out, eat well, get enough sleep, stay on a schedule. Don't live in fear every day and freak out if you start to feel down for like 5 minutes...stressing about it can make you depressed! Just go about your business and take one day at a time. You and the people around you will know if it's not working. And if it doesn't work, there's no shame in going back, and maybe you can try to get off them again later.
Well that's my 2 cents. Good luck, let me know if you have any other questions!