Author Archives: bob

Through the Lens: Living with OCD and Anxiety

Torre Catalano says, “I Have OCD. This Is What It’s Like to Be in My Mind for 3 Minutes.”

As I was watching this, for some reason I was driven to check my blood pressure. It was OK.


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NAMI North Central Mass

Bob and Patricia
Patricia and I will be speaking tonight in Fitchburg, Massachusetts at the NAMI North Central Mass Annual Meeting.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
7:00 pm



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Anthony Rapp is Back in Massachusetts with “Without You”

I have my ticket and I’m going back to see Anthony Rapp in “Without You.” He is doing his one-man show from September 9 to 13, 2015 at the Carling-Sorenson Theater at Babson College just outside Boston. I encourage you to go and be part of something incredible.

I went twice in 2012 when he came to Massachusetts. I wrote about it here (below). His story and his message have stuck with me ever since.

Years later, I continue my life as Mark, still trying to live, while others live and thrive around me.


Anthony Rapp in “Without You”

Posted on June 20, 2012 by bob

I went to see Anthony Rapp tonight in Boston at his one-man show, “Without You,” at the Modern Theatre at Suffolk University. It was incredible. I’m going back on Sunday to experience it again.

The timing of this is a bit serendipitous. I’ve been a huge fan of “Rent” for many years, and particularly of the character played by Mr. Rapp. There is something about Mark that reminds me of my own self and the relationship I have had with my daughter Patricia as she has struggled over the years. This week, I am finishing up my book, a memoir about those difficult times. Unlike “Rent” and AIDS, mine is about mental health, another difficult, but just as taboo subject. For some reason, “Rent” and Mark have found their way into its pages. Twice.

As I was leaving for the theater tonight, the UPS guy showed up with some new uncorrected book proofs. I thought for a second about bringing one and trying to figure out how to give it to Anthony — maybe he’d like to read it — to see how his story fits into ours. But I quickly dismissed it — he’s just an actor. He’s not Mark.

But as I sat there tonight, it occurred to me that Anthony, in telling his story, was doing the same thing that Mark had done in “Rent.” He helped us live as he watched others live. And in doing so, Mark (and Anthony) got to live, too.

Anthony was alive on stage tonight. In his music and stories, he brought with him those same feelings I’m drawn to in the “Rent” experience. Thank you, Anthony, for letting me live tonight, too.

Go. Live.


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Kiva Wellness Center · June 16

Come See Bob and Patricia
A Frank Talk on Mental Health

Shining a light on mental health.

Kiva Center

Join us in Worcester as Patricia and I talk about our experiences in the mental health system and its effects on us. This talk is the first of a planned series of public conversations on mental health issues from a first-hand point of view to take place at the Kiva Center of the Central Mass Recovery Learning Community.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
6:00 pm

Kiva Wellness Center
209 Shrewsbury Street
Worcester, MA 01604

This is a free event open to the public.



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PPAL Conference 2015

Friday, May 29, is the 2015 PPAL Conference in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Patricia and I will be presenting at a morning workshop. We hope to see you there.

This is a big deal for us. Two important milestones will be occurring. First is that continuing education credits are available for those attending the conference. Somehow this makes us all the more legitimate; maybe even more so than speaking with a class of Psychology majors at UMass Amherst in February. Second is that our talk is being translated into Spanish to make it accessible to more of the conference participants. This should be interesting. We are looking forward to a great day.


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Author Appearances

Upcoming Events
May 29, 2015 · Registration Required · w/ Patricia Larsted · PPAL Annual Conference · Marlborough, Massachusetts
June 16, 2015 · Public · w/ Patricia Larsted · KIVA Center · Worcester, Massachusetts

Past Events
May 21, 2015 · Public · w/ Patricia Larsted · Edward & Mary Lord Family Health Center · Norwich, Connecticut
May 6, 2015 · Public · w/ Patricia Larsted · Gale Free Library · Holden, Massachusetts
February 10, 2015 · Private · w/ Patricia Larsted · A Psychology Class Discussion · Umass · Amherst, Massachusetts
September 18, 2014 · Public · NAMI Central Mass · Worcester, Massachusetts
September 17, 2014 · Public · w/ Patricia Larsted · Bigelow Free Public Library · Clinton, Massachusetts
September 13, 2014 · Keynote · Private · NAMI MetroWest · Marlborough, Massachusetts
May 19, 2014 · Public · NAMI North Central MA · Leominster, Massachusetts
May 31, 2013 · Registration Required · PPAL Annual Conference · Marlborough, Massachusetts
May 11, 2013 · Public · NAMI Walk · Brighton, Massachusetts
May 9, 2013 · Public · Jointly sponsored by Wayside Youth and Family Support Networks, NAMI MetroWest, and Employment Options · Marlborough, Massachusetts
April 16, 2013 · Private · Wayside Youth and Family Support Networks · Waltham, Massachusetts
March 5, 2013 · Private · Worcester County Personnel and Guidance Association · Worcester, Massachusetts
February 26, 2013 · Public · Wayside Youth and Family Support Networks · Waltham, Massachusetts

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Norwich, Connecticut

Another May Is Mental Health Month Author Event
Bob and Patricia
Patricia and I will be speaking tonight in Norwich, Connecticut thanks to United Community & Family Services, the SEMHSOC Youth Empowerment Group, and the Family Advisory Board/FSF.

Thursday, May 21, 2015
5:00 pm



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NAMI Walk 2015

I will be walking again this year with my friends from NAMI North Central at the 2015 NAMI Walk on Saturday, May 16, at Artesani Park in Brighton, Massachusetts. Join us.

Donations to this important cause are greatly appreciated:


Bob Walk 2015

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Letter to the Editor

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker made me mad when he submitted his new budget. So I wrote a letter to the editor of The Worcester Telegram. In some strange Turing Test, they published it today.

Here is the link.

Here is the letter. They added the title:

Governor shouldn’t cut RLC funding

When my teen-aged daughter first attempted suicide, the Collaborative Assessment Program came to her rescue and helped save her life by getting her hooked up with the Department of Mental Health. Later, when the Legislature cut that program for everyone except children of families with Mass Health, I told them it will be their fault every time the next kid with private health insurance dies because of their shortsightedness.

They still haven’t fixed it.

Now, years later, my no-longer-quite-so-suicidal daughter has found a safe and welcoming place at one of a small number of DMH-funded Recovery Learning Communities across the state. Here she has found innovative and cost-effective solutions, including peer supports and a hearing-voices group, a place to accept and find meaning in her voices — the very same voices that always come back no matter how hard the doctors and hospitals and their antipsychotics try to silence them.

And here she finds the camaraderie of others, struggling, as she does, to remain in the community rather than locked away in some more terrible place. Now the governor wants to cut RLC funding by 50 percent. This seems to me like another shortsighted, unsafe, and, ultimately costly idea.


Published in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 23, 2015.

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Join Us In Holden on May 6

A May Is Mental Health Month Author Event
Bob and Patricia
A Frank Talk on Mental Health
Join me in Holden as Patricia and I talk about her battle with anxiety, depression, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, and schizoaffective disorders. Share our journey through the minefield of school, family, and today’s healthcare system as we struggled to find a way for her to survive, and, ultimately, thrive.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
6:15 pm

Gale Free Library
23 Highland Street
Holden, MA 01520

Free and open to the public.


I promise only a memorable experience. At previous talks we’ve had props, dramatic book readings, some giggles. And some tears.


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