Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
There isn't actually much evidence for anti-depressants being effective as a treatment for reactive or mild depression ('mild' is the term and not meant to downplay what you are experiencing). Given the major stresses that you are exposed to right now it would likely be more effective to focus on resolving these issues to the best of your ability (where possible) and use a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) approach. The kind of strategies you are trying already are a step in the right direction and also using the cognitive strategies that form part of CBT should help you manage moments when your thinking/outlook becomes intensely negative or you begin to feel hopeless.
You can take what is known as a 'stepped approach' to addressing the low mood you are experiencing. A stepped approach simply means that you follow a sequence of strategies in a particular order (you try one approach and then move on to the next if it isn't working).
The recommended sequence of treatments to try is:1) Self-help using a CBT based program
2) CBT with a therapist
3) CBT & an antidepressant medication (usually a Selective Serotonin Re uptakeInhibitor) if you find that your mood is not lifting at all
You can confirm that this is the correct order by checking these treatment recommendations here.
CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. Treatment is technique driven, brief, direct and time-limited(normally 10-12 sessions). CBT is used in individual therapy as well as group settings, and the techniques are often adapted for self-help applications. I wouldstrongly encourage you to consider CBT as I would expect you get great benefitfrom this approach.
Start by working through this excellent CBT based self-help program here. It should take several weeks to complete, is completely free and will teach you everything you need to know about Depression and what you can do about it. Alternatively, you could take a look at a book which will teach you some introductory techniques for dealing with Depression at home. I can recommend a well known manual titled Mind Over Mood and another book titled The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook forDepression; A Step by Step Program as good places to start. You can find themboth here.
If you find you aren't making the kind of progress you would like using a self-help approach I would then recommend you consult with a CBT trained therapist. CBT is usually offered by Clinical Psychologists (although not exclusively) and you can contact the American Psychology Association (APA) for assistance with locating a Psychologist; take a look at the APA locator service here. You can use this to find Psychologists in your area and there is a phone number you can contact if you want a referral arranged for you. Also, take a look at an article published by the APA here. It's an interview with a senior Psychologist and covers some of the things you should consider when you looking for a Psychologist.
In regards XXXXX XXXXX natural supplements there isn't really a lot of evidence that natural supplements are an effective treatment for Depression. However, there is no doubt that looking after your health greatly helps in manging any kind of psychological problem and thus any supplement you found helped you feel better may be useful. There is some limited evidence that St John's Wart may help lift mood however you would first need to clear this with your doctor as it can interact poorly with some medications (including anti-depressants). There is considerable disagreement as to the efficacy of St John's Wart and I mention it only as something you may wish to investigate further rather than make a recommendation for it.
I hop this has been of some help. Please let me know if you have further questions or would like me to clarify any part of my answer.
There is a field of Psychology called Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) that is particularly good at addressing pain/stress/loss in our lives that is unavoidable. That is, it approaches negative experience as a natural occurrence and suggests strategies for moving on without attempting to remove those parts of our lives causing us pain.
It's an excellent approach for anyone trying to manage problems that aren't likely to go away.
I can recommend a book titled 'The Happiness Trap' by Dr Russ Harris as a good introduction to this approach, otherwise you can find material on ACT quite easily through a Google search.
Good luck with getting through it all.
Take a look at this locator service - it lists ACT therapists by area.