hi i was about your age when first diagnosed with major depressive disorder. that was almost 25 years ago. i've been on meds. ever since and i do hate it.....having to rely on meds. and being labeled mentally ill....but...it is what it is and the alternative is being miserable which is no way to live. i also have no insurance, but have found free mental health help. check in your area for places like mental health mental retardation(MHMR). they are very kind and know their stuff. as far as meds. go you have to know that when they list side effects they list ALL POSSIBLE side effects but that dosent mean you'll have them. i've been on lots of anti-depressants and the only side effects i've ever had was dry mouth, some constipation, and lower sex drive. the trade off isnt so bad when you consider quality of life. hope this helps you some.