Hey kisses, Very interesting question you have brought up here.
My depression is caused mostly by my past childhood abuse (which always stays with you). I also have daily stressors as everyone else does that are difficult to handle. Or take for instance when I was going through my divorce which was a year of hell and my antidepressant needed to be adjusted at that time.
Anyway...antidepressants are meant to lessen the depression symptoms that we feel (keep in mind that everyone is differant) so that we can function in a normal fashion. I dont think it is like you take this pill and all of a sudden your not sad anymore because whatever has caused your depression is still there but the medication is meant to help lift those symptoms so you can deal with the depression.
So, if you have depression from certian past events that happened in your life such as I do that wont ever go away...that is usually Major Depression. You can deal with it in counseling learning how to manage it but usually those people will always need medication for it.
If you have depression because of current stressors in your life then that is Situational Depression and normally it is treated for a short period of time with antidepressants (6-10 months), counseling and then hopefully, the stressors have resolved.
Either way antidepressants are not meant to cover up or mask the depression. It is always up to the person to work on getting better, dealing with their life situations and not expecting the medication to do all the work.