Savoir Faire put it perfectly. For me it's getting a piece of my control over my life back. I am a better wife, mother and friend when I don't have to battle myself so hard.
I'm on 20mg of Lexapro for depression and general anxiety. I don't have any kind of "high" feeling, or a feeling of flatness or numbness - it's just like I can breathe again after struggling underwater for a long time. The whole time I was freaking out (often) and crying and wailing over tiny things, unable to sleep at night for weeks at a time, constantly filled with dread and despair, before I saw my doctor and started taking the drug - I knew I wasn't being rational, I knew I wasn't myself, I knew it was all wrong, but it was like I was powerless to stop it. After I started treatment, it was like I woke up one day and realized, "oh my god, I'm sane again". My only regret is that I waited so long, out of a fear of taking antidepressants.
As far as side effects go, the only thing I've noticed is that my dreams are crazy-vivid and I almost always remember them when I wake up, which is new for me. I'll take that, it's actually pretty entertaining most of the time. But side effects vary so much from person to person.