I suffer from anxiety and depression that runs in my family. I used to be afraid to enter a building if there were other people in it, this invisible wall kept me from doing things I enjoyed, and I would often feel worthless, despite having a decent lifestyle with what could only be described as first world problems. Anxiety attacks that felt like either a heart attack or this sense of impending death occured almost every day. These do not occur due to some sort of emotional trigger. I tried exercise, eating healthy, and relaxing. There was some benefit, but nothing that stopped the anxiety attacks.
Sertraline has been life changing for me. I'm able to go outside, I'm less nervous in large groups or around strangers, and I'm more accepting of both my gifts and my shortcoming. I haven't had an anxiety attack for years. I don't miss having one. The only major side effect is that I have to pee a lot, and I get nauseous if I miss a dose, but I'm willing to make that trade off. I wish I could go back in time and reclaim 10 more years prior to starting zoloft.
I recommend that critics of psychiatric medication watch Stephen Fry's "The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive" or listen to the experiences of people who rely on those medications before making blanket statements of "useless" or some conspiratorial claim.