Charles Barber - Author of Comfortably Numb
About Comfortably Numb
  About Comfortably Numb   Praise for Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry is Medicating a Nation
  Comfortably Numb Cover

Buy the Book


Learn More: Interview | Excerpt

"Broad and ambitious but also quite personal. Highly readable ... engaging and provocative. At the boundaries of medical treatment, uncertainty is inherent, and Barber raises questions about those boundaries."
Nature Medicine

"Compelling. In Comfortably Numb, Barber brings a street-smart perspective ... He worked for years with [the homeless mentally ill] in New York ... Comfortably Numb has a degree of sardonic anger powering its torrent of data and case studies."

"A fine, informed writer on cultural history as well as neuroscience, psychotherapy, and economics, Barber convincingly argues against the overprescription of psychiatric drugs in the United States and sums up the history of U.S. psychiatry from the asylum to the community to glitzy but still elementary neuroscience. A blockbuster."
Library Journal starred review

"A sharply critical look at the way antidepressants are marketed and prescribed in the United States . . . Barber articulately and persuasively counsels that it’s time to abandon the quick-fix, pop-a-pill approach."
Kirkus Reviews

"Persuasive. Barber, in a passionate and often angry book, speaks with authority . . . By any measure, this is an important book."
Hartford Courant

"The most important general interest book on mental health in America in years... and probably the best single book I've ever read about depression."
Furious Seasons, a mental health blog. (Psych Central, Best of the Web)

"Comfortably Numb chronicles the extraordinary psychopharmaceuticalization of everyday life that has arisen in recent years and appears to be growing apace. Charles Barber marks Charles Barberout the inconvenient truths on our path to emotional climate change but also offers alternatives to readers who wish to avoid pharmageddon."
David Healy, author of Let Them Eat Prozac

"In this passionate yet fair-minded book, Barber explores the disturbing medicalization and medication of unhappiness in America today. The author understands that while medication has an important role to play in the treatment of severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, Big Pharma has seduced Americans into believing they need drugs for the normal sorrows of life. Almost 70 percent of antidepressants worldwide are sold in the United States. Barber asks the critical question of whether Americans are crazier that the rest of the world or whether we have simply developed a crazy dependency on legal drugs."
Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason

"Thoughtful and surprisingly entertaining."

"Comfortably Numb has valuable information to impart ... arrives in our pill-happy midst not a moment too soon."
New York Observer

Philadelphia Weekly

"Barber's message is one of hard truth and hope."
Austin American-Statesman


Home Comfortably Numb Songs from the Black Chair Buy About the Author ContactTour Excerpt Interview Praise Buy the Book