View Full Version : Comfortably Numb

09-22-10, 08:59 PM
An excellent read: Comfortably Numb: how psychiatry is medicating a nation, by Charles Barber. From the flyleaf: "Barber explores the ways in which pharmaceutical companies first create the need for a drug and then rush to fill it, and he reveals the increasing pressure Americans are under to medicate themselves (direct-to-consumer advertising, fewer non-drug therapeutic options, the promise of the quick fix, the blurring of the distinction between mental illness and everyday problems). Most important, he convincingly argues that without an industry to promote them, non-pharmaceutical approaches that could have the potential to help millions are tragically overlooked by a nation that sees drugs as an instant cure for all emotional difficulties."

Plenty of statistics, anecdotes, illustrations and evidence in a style that reaches the layman without patronizing him. He calls SSRIs and SUVs iconic American examples of overkill: the SUV could take you up the Himalayas, but most of us use it to pick up a gallon of milk at Wal-Mart.