Speaking to my madness cover smallBook Reviewed:

Speaking To My Madness:  How I Searched For Myself in Schizophrenia

By Roberta Payne

Copyright 2013

Available on for $11.69   Kindle Edition  $3.99

Reviews of this book:

“STMM (Speaking To My Madness) is a rare find – a memoir of madness and beauty that hums… with the deep tremors of a difficult life lived bravely… I can hardly overstate how much I admire this book.”

David Dobbs,  New York Times contributor and author


“STMM describes the terror of Dr. Roberta Payne’s descent into madness.  The name of the illness that plagues her: schizophrenia…  At the end of this richly textured account, Dr. Payne celebrates the ‘new- found delights of her brain.  She has made for herself a life well-lived.”

Deborah L. Levy, PhD  McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School

“It is remarkable, wonderful, absolutely worth your attention.”

Thomas Levenson, MIT

From her website:

“Dr. Roberta Payne’s book gives an extremely personal and highly literary spin to her battle with three of the most pressing illnesses of our time – alcoholism, mentall, and cancer…. The book is balanced with moments of intense introspection where poetically phrased passages give deep insight into the auther’s mind as she confronted mind-altering illnesses.

STMM is valuable as a memoir of madness and as a work of importance for those interested in psychology, psychiatry, and addiction.

Those interested in stories of redemption, too, will find immense value in Payne’s work, as it illuminates how ambracing sickness can ultimately lead to healing.”


How I came to read this book:

At the October 26th, 2013, SARDAA conference, I met Dr. Fred Freese from Akron, Ohio.  When he learned that I was from Denver, he told me that there was someone in Denver that I had to meet.  That was my introduction to Roberta Payne.

After the conference, Dr. Freese sent us both an email.  I don’t remember who emailed the other first, but I think it was Roberta who emailed me.  Would I like to meet for coffee sometime?  Great, I answered, and gave the location of a coffee house in mid-Denver. We met.  It was awkward at first.  It was clear that we were opposites.  She was quiet, and I was not!  But she told me that she had written a book.  I wrote down the name of the book, and went home and ordered it from Amazon.

From the first page, I knew that I was going to enjoy reading this book.  Roberta is a writer’s writer.  Her book is carefully and poetically written.  Her writing is rich with metaphors and other figures of speech.  When I mentioned this to her, Roberta said, “That’s the way I think.”

She describes in the book her battles with three demons: alcohol, schizophrenia and cancer.  Her triumph over all three is truly remarkable.  Her descriptions of her descent into hitting bottom with alcohol and with schizophrenia are beautiful and terrifying at the same time, and are not to be missed.

In summary, I couldn’t put this book down.  If you enjoy good writing, you will enjoy this book.  For anyone interested in substance abuse, psychology and cancer survival, this book is a must read.

I couldn’t put it down.

I pick this book, thumbs up!

Margery Wakefield

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