Just my two cents worth...
I also suffer from low-grade persistent depression and I would like to suggest that you continue to work with the medication. While they are all in the same family they all have somewhat different effects. I have started using effexor on the recommendation of some friends and I am happy with it. It is a second-line drug meaning it addresses both depression and anxiety, which has helped me a lot.
I don't like the idea of taking drugs, but I like the debilitating effects of depression less. If your doctor won't work with you then get another one. And counselling can be more helpful than you might think, and if you can't afford it maybe you can find someone willing to barter or some other creative arrangement. Just having to articulate problems can be very helpful.
Keep on doing the good things, and I'm glad to hear you're feeling better.
all the best,