Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within
Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
ISBN 10: 1616494751
ISBN 13: 978-1616494759
A first-of-its-kind, cross-cultural lens to mental illness through the inspiring story of Gayathri’s thirty-year battle with depression. This literary memoir takes readers from her childhood in India where depression is thought to be a curse to life in America where she eventually finds the light within by drawing on both her rich Hindu heritage and Western medicine to find healing.
As a young girl in Bangalore, Gayathri was surrounded by the fragrance of jasmine and flickering oil lamps, her family protected by Hindu gods and goddesses. But as she grew older, demons came forth from the dark corners of her idyllic kingdom--with the scariest creatures lurking within her.The daughter of a respected Brahmin family, Gayathri began to feel different. "I can hardly eat, sleep, or think straight. The only thing I can do is cry unending tears." Her parents insisted it was all in her head. Because traditional Indian culture had no concept of depression as an illness, no doctor could diagnose and no medicine could heal her mysterious malady.This memoir traces Gayathri's courageous battle with the depression that consumed her from adolescence through marriage and a move to the United States. It was only after the birth of her first child, when her husband discovered her in the backyard "clawing the earth furiously with my bare hands, intent on digging a grave so that I could bury myself alive," that she finally found help. After a stay in a psych ward she eventually found "the light within," an emotional and spiritual awakening from the darkness of her tortured mind.Gayathri's inspiring story provides a first-of-its-kind cross-cultural view of mental illness--how it is regarded in India and in America, and how she drew on both her rich Hindu heritage and Western medicine to find healing.
"A well-written, novel-like story offering hope for recovery for families in the throes of mental illness."
"Mental illness recognizes no borders, yet few books have explored the difficulties of individuals dealing with cultural differences and none has done it better than Shadows in the Sun. Beautifully written, Gayathri Ramprasad chronicles the devastating impact that depression wreaks on an entire family and then brings us into the light with her inspiring story of recovery. This book is a true gift to all those struggling with a mental disorder and those of us who love them. In writing it, Gayathri Ramprasad establishes herself as an international voice of hope."
--Pete Earley, author of CRAZY: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness
"Gayathri Ramprasad writes eloquently about depression, and about building a meaningful life in the face of mental illness.
--Andrew Solomon, National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
“Everyone who struggles with a mental illness, or who knows anyone with depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, must read this engrossing true story of courage in the face of heartbreaking adversity."
--Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., President, American Psychiatric Association
"Gayathri's story of self-transformation is a marvel and inspiration for all of us--those who suffer, those who serve--that even at the darkest moments, hope, recovery and peace are possible."
--Christopher Gordon, MD, medical director, Advocates Inc.; Associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
"She has broken the silence for Indians across the globe and makes it possible for all of us, and especially our children, to embrace their most powerful experiences as opportunities for extraordinary transformation."
--Chacku Mathai, STAR Center director, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
"Shadows in the Sun is an excellent source for any clinician, patient, or family member to understand the disease of depression and the cost that keeping the disease hidden is having on all family cultures."
--R. Murali Krishna, MD, president, INTEGRIS James L. Hall, Jr. Center for Mind, Body & Spirit
"Her unflinching honesty is a powerful weapon against the experience of depression which so often eludes language and is shrouded in silence."
--Clare Miller, director, Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, American Psychiatric Foundation
"A tremendous contribution to our understanding and appreciation of the evolution of depression, in the context of culture and the impact among cultures."
--David Satcher, MD, PhD, Director, Satcher Health Leadership Institute Morehouse School of Medicine, Poussiant-Satcher-Cosby Chair in Mental Health, 16th Surgeon General of the United States
"Gayathri pens a memoir about an anguishing mental illness that ends in redemption and grace."
--Therese Borchard, author of Beyond the Blue
"A testament to the power of perseverance, and a must-read for anyone looking for living proof that all things are possible."
--Jeff Bell, author, Rewind, Replay, Repeat: A Memoir of OCD; Founder, The adversity 2 advocacy alliance
"Living proof of the healing power of understanding."
--Brandon Staglin, schizophrenia survivor and Communications Director, International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO)
"Anyone reading her book will gain valuable insight into what it is like to struggle with serious emotional and mental disorders, as well as receiving a most precious gift--reason to believe that such a harrowing journey can lead to hope and healing."
--John Head, author of Standing in the Shadows: Understanding and Overcoming Depression in Black Men
"Shadows in the Sun illuminates us all with fierce truth and beauty, and inspires us to our core."
--Janine Francolini Founder, The Flawless Foundation
"Shadows in the Sun fights the stigma and cultural misunderstanding of mental illness on a global scale. A must read, even if mental illness has not touched your family."
--Jessie Close, BringChange2Mind
"Highly recommended--You don't have to be depressed or have experienced depression or mental illness to read Shadows in the Sun. It is an utterly fascinating, compelling, passionate memoir that also offers a great cultural perspective on life in India and what it's like to be an immigrant."
"The struggles that [Gayathri] and her family underwent through will help others feel less alone as well as isolated and perhaps this book can help break barriers down so people who suffer won't be treated badly."
About the Author
Gayathri Ramprasad is the founder and President of ASHA International, a non-profit organization promoting personal, organizational and community wellness. She has received undergraduate degrees from Bangalore University, India, and George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, from where she also received an MBA.A Certified Peer Specialist (CPS), she is also a member of the Global Speakers Federation, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (past Board member, NAMI Oregon), and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.Gayathri is the winner of the prestigious Eli Lilly Welcome Back Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Voice Award for Consumer Leadership sponsored by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).Gayathri lives in Portland, Oregon.