American doctors dispense approximately 230 million antidepressant prescriptions every year, more than any other class of medication. Charles Barber explores this disturbing phenomenon, examining the ways in which pharmaceutical companies first create the need for a drug and then rush to fill it. Most importantly, he convincingly argues that, without an industry to promote them, non-pharmaceutical approaches are tragically overlooked in favor of an instant cure for all emotional difficulties.
Compulsively readable and urgently relevant, Comfortably Numb is an unprecedented account of the impact of psychiatric medications on American culture and on Americans themselves.
About the Author:
Charles Barber was educated at Harvard and Columbia and worked for ten years in New York City shelters for the homeless and mentallly ill. The title essay in his first book, Songs from the Black Chair, won a 2006 Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared in The New York Times, among other publications, and on NPR. He is a lecturer in psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine and lives in Connecticut with his family.