We are the sum of our experiences
I've said for many years now that if I could go back in time and change the way I grew up (no abuse, no abandonment, no rape, etc), I wouldn't do it. Even if I could go back in time and not leave home the way I did (which is one of few regrets I have, and only because I feel this added to my siblings' pain and suffering), I still wouldn't.
Who we become is made up of all these experiences. True, they weren't healthy experiences. And true, they caused some deeply rooted issues within me... issues that I sometimes wish I didn't have... but they are still a part of me. They are me. This isn't a case of living in the past by any means, but rather a simple fact that these events and experiences and traumas shaped me... shaped the core of who I am, how I feel and act, and what I do and dream.
These experiences include our "issues"
Whether we suffer depression, or some other personality, psychological or mood disorder, we are still shaped by these. No, they do not define us, but they do have a huge impact on who we are, who we were, and who we're becoming.
Now, in thinking about this question my friend posed - "Would you still be you" - I recognize that I've known the answer for many years. When I was 18, I was placed on anti-depressants. Yes, they did work. They took away my depression. But I wasn't me. My ability to write disappeared. My ability to understand and/or care about the issues of others was diminished. So much of who God had made me to be was masked. It's why I threw out the medication. And it's part of why I can honestly answer that question with a resounding "No!" I would not be me. And, well, no one else wants to be me, so I guess I'll have to keep that job for myself.
Bring on the depression! :)
Embrace who you are
God has made each of us, and continually molds us through the experiences we face - both the good, and especially the bad. Embrace these trials and problems and experiences. And pray that God continues to use our experiences to help us grow emotionally and spiritually.
NOTE: Please understand, I am in no way knocking those who are on medication for depression (or any other issue). Some people truly needs these meds... and to be honest, I probably should be on them as well for my own sanity, and the sanity of those who put up with me. It's simply a personal choice of mine to not be on them. Sorry to anyone I upset.