Comfortably Numb cover

An analysis of the over-reliance on psychiatric drugs in American culture.

A Barnes and Noble Great New Writers selection.
"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

"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

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

New York Observer

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

Hartford Courant