I first took Ritalin in first grade. I went off it soon after but tried it again in high school and have been reliant upon it and other psychoactive medications for the last 14 years--nearly half my life. Do i feel artificial? Do I feel like I'm cheating? Do I feel like I'm not being the real me? Those aren't even questions I ask myself anymore. After much experimentation with various molecules and dosages and life situations, I've made peace with my drug dependence, and now when pondering a prescription refill or an individual pill in my hand, instead of asking which me is the real me--chemically modified or au natural--I ask which me I prefer.
Despite the popularity of caffeine and alcohol, not everyone feels the same, and new research (that I covered in the August issue of Psychology Today) maps out our fears regarding artificial cognitive enhancement.