It's astonishing how effective pharmaceuticals are today with only very minor side effects. But there's one side effect yet solved and I suspect it's the most potent for some drugs: the identity confusion of whether the you on drugs is really "you."
For drugs that deal with personality issues or depression, I imagine even a successful patient must grapple with whether their newly improved state is artificial. (Artificial in a more serious way than the effect of myriad everyday things like coffee.) Am I really happy or is it just the drug that's tricking me into thinking so?
Such questions have the ring of conceptual confusion, so perhaps analytic philosophy can have some therapeutic benefit after all. What, exactly, is the question in italics asking? What is the difference between being 'really happy' as opposed to being 'tricked' into such feelings? The only real question I can see in this vicinity is whether one's situation warrants the emotions one is feeling. If your affect matches your evaluative judgments, and these in turn are not unreasonable, then there is nothing left to worry about. (If you're feeling chirpy at a funeral, then you should be worried. But if you are, say, enjoying the company of good friends -- sharing in their cheer and good humour -- then that seems entirely appropriate, and as authentic as anything. How could it not be?)
The 'artificiality' of the cause is neither here nor there. In fact, we might expect genuine 'identity confusion' (or incoherence between one's evaluative judgments and emotional affect) to be more common without medication. I've never been on antidepressants myself, but at times when I have felt slightly depressed what's struck me is how out of sync such feelings seemed to be with my evaluative judgments. And I guess similar things can happen even now if I'm simply feeling a bit socially anxious or uncomfortable: those are feelings I take to not be warranted by my situation, and so it is they which strike me as alien and artificial. To be free of such impediments is to be more truly ourselves, or so I would think. What say you?