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SHADOWS IN THE SUN: Healing From Depression and Finding the Light Within ~Gayathri Ramprasad


SHADOWS IN THE SUN is a memoir about depression and the stigmas of mental illness in a bi- cultural setting.  It is a book from the HAZELDEN Publishers, “a national nonprofit organization founded in 1949, helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction.  Through published works, Hazelden extends the reach of hope, encouragement, help and support to individuals, families, and communities affected by addiction and related issues.”

Gayathri (guy – a – three) Ramprasad is a very intelligent woman, who has chosen to be open and candid about her healing from the depths of depression and attempts at suicide journey with the writing of this book. She is currently an Advocate for Mental Health diseases in the USA, India, and internationally.  Ramprasad’s words invite the reader into the lovely family traditions and celebrations of her roots in India. She shares with us the dynamic worldviews of her father, who wants to live in the USA and the religious, spiritual depths of her mother’s traditional views.  They are a careful middle class family, who value education and success.  Ramprasad has 2 siblings who share her world; as a family they are quite open to new ideas, mini-skirts, Western concepts and lessons in English.  When her grandfather dies, her family moves out of the family compound and begins a new life venture, which will hopefully align them with a life in the United States. Ramprasad’s culture is not open to Mental Illness and it is a shame which can ruin a family and their status within the community.

The first signs of Depression begin to appear when Gayathri has failed a pre-university class and she is devastated by the doors that will close to her and the shame she brings upon her family.  She had wanted to be a doctor and find more love and approval from her parents with such an honorable choice.  That opportunity was now closed to her and her response involved a great sadness, downward spiraling thinking, and vomiting. As it turned out, that failure was not the case and a trick had been played; still the stage was set.

SHADOWS IN THE SUN describes the author’s arranged marriage and her move to Oregon, where her new, handsome husband is very successful in the computer world.  Gayathri does very well in her new life in a lovely apartment with a good kitchen for all her cooking wants and needs.  After the birth of her daughter, she experiences a severe post-partum depression which in turn introduces her to Western ideas about Mental Illness and she, with great effort, benefits from her experiences and is able to cope and move forward with her life, until a second pregnancy brings her fully downward into a place of attempting suicide.   Although she learns a great deal from this experience and her recovery from several episodes of severe problems (particularly when she returns to India to visit her family) she begins to piece together a holistic approach which combines her roots and traditions with her own independence and resolve; she arrives at a place where for three weeks of the month she can have a “normal” life.

Gayathri Ramprasad has received another degree to add to her credentials and a number of awards for her work in Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy, for her public speaking efforts. She is a recipient of the prestigious Eli Lilly Welcome Back Award for Lifetime Achievement.  She makes her home in Portland, Oregon and her words give hope to the millions of people who suffer from Mental Diseases.

“It is said in the Upanishads, the ancient Hindu Scriptures, ’You are what your deepest desire is.  As you desire, so is your intention.  As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed.  As your deed is, so is your destiny.’”

tlc logo I received a copy of this book from TLC online book tours for review and it was a privilege to read this memoir and have the opportunity to share it with my readers.  I am quite sure that nearly everyone I know or who reads this blog knows someone who might benefit from  – SHADOWS IN THE SUN.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Donations also welcomed. Thank you!

Related:
Mind Without a Home
The Isolation Door
My Stroke of Insight
The Myths of Happiness

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12 Responses to “SHADOWS IN THE SUN: Healing From Depression and Finding the Light Within ~Gayathri Ramprasad”

  1. Talon Says:

    It’s wonderful that more and more people are sharing their stories of depression. It’s been one of those things that people are ashamed to speak of. Like one of our great Canadian athletes, Clara Hughes who has been a wonderful and dedicated spokesperson. It’s something almost every one I’ve ever met has experienced at one time or another in their lives. And yet they hesitate to share it widely because of fear of being ridiculed, thought weak or being perceived as “mentally ill”.

    Hope all is well, Patricia, and you and Zip are surviving what has been (at least up here) one of the longest, coldest winters in recent years. We had another storm yesterday with 6″ more of snow…like the four feet we have on the ground isn’t enough! :)
    Talon recently posted..PuncturedMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Talon,
    Wonderful to find you here today, you are like a breath of spring to join our 64’F and sunshine. ZIP and I kept sun bathing after all the rain storms we have been experiencing.

    I have been having computer problems – so doing lots of work from my phone these days. I will pop over to check out your lastest in a few minutes. (I do not think I want another used computer ever!)

    It was a wonderful book and I think there are so many people who could benefit from reading her gracious and heartfelt honest words.

    Shedding some light on the problems people are experiencing opens the windows and lets the fresh air in.

    So sorry about your new blast of cold – come on winter go away, bring on the shine!
    Patricia recently posted..SHADOWS IN THE SUN: Healing From Depression and Finding the Light Within ~Gayathri RamprasadMy Profile

  2. Gayathri Ramprasad, author of Shadows in the Sun, on tour March 2014 | TLC Book Tours Says:

    […] Thursday, March 13th:  Patricia’s Wisdom […]

  3. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours Says:

    I so appreciate people who share their own difficult experiences in order to benefit others. I hope that many people will read this book and gain a better understanding of what depression does and how it can be treated.

    Thanks for being on the tour.
    Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours recently posted..Zoe Fishman, author of Driving Lessons, on tour April 2014My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Heather J
    Yes this is a good share and so many, many folks suffer with depression – an excellent resource. Good to be able to help others be aware

  4. Chris Edgar Says:

    I can imagine how being under such pressure to succeed from family, and being unwilling or unable to acknowledge the resentment that comes from being pressured in such a way, could lead to depression. I definitely felt a lot of compassion for her reading this and I hope it serves as a cautionary tale for people (like I was) who grow up believing that all you need is academic and professional “success” and everything else sort of takes care of itself.

    Patricia Reply:

    Chris,
    With all the assistance from the Oregon Health care systems, Gayathria was able to figure out how to control her Depressions for at least 3 weeks a month – her depression has a great deal to do with a hormonal imbalance. In India her illness could have ruined her family and their reputation and their future there was such a stigma.
    It takes a great deal of work, exercise, some medication and brain retraining but she has gained a full life and future inspite of her disease. Her sister also has trouble with this disease and she has moved to the USA also – now they are educating therapists in India
    We need a lot of compassion and education for folks suffering with PTSD – what brought this on was severe trauma of having someone bribe a teacher to fail her ( she actually had A +) which prevented her from her future plans. A huge trauma for such a high achiever
    Patricia recently posted..SHADOWS IN THE SUN: Healing From Depression and Finding the Light Within ~Gayathri RamprasadMy Profile

  5. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    This book — Shadows in the Sun: Healing From Depression and Finding the Light Within — conveys a profoundly important message that each and every person can benefit from. Depression statistics, postpartum and otherwise, are staggeringly high. I appreciate Gayathri Ramprasad’s voice.
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted..Viva la Spice!My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Laurie,
    It is a well written story and she does not minimize the effort it takes for her recovery – and removing the stigma of mental illness.

    I am very glad that the story is on tour as it will reach many more people
    Our area the folks coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan are at epidemic levels of PTSD and depression – it effects a whole society
    Thank you for sharing
    Patricia recently posted..SHADOWS IN THE SUN: Healing From Depression and Finding the Light Within ~Gayathri RamprasadMy Profile

  6. Sam Juliano Says:

    Yes this is certainly a very important and undeniably fascinating subject, Patricia, and your exhaustive review confirms you have both acknowledged this and spoken for it as a book recommended especially for those who can and have connected with this issue. Rather curious too that there was an arranged marriage here.

    Great review!

    Patricia Reply:

    Sam
    I do believe this is a vitally important read as 1 in 4 folks in the USA suffer with depression at some time in their lives and suicide rates are so high.

    We have learned to much about changing this pattern and yet people continue to suffer – it does take work to gain control.

    (I will add that many of our politicians want to restrict hormones pills like Birth Control – and they are such good medicine for both sexes in working with hormone problematic depressions – but off course hormones are not being restricted for men – no they are being prescribed in the millions)

    Author was still living in India when she was married at 19 and her father was delighted it was to a good family’s son who was already established in the USA
    Patricia recently posted..SHADOWS IN THE SUN: Healing From Depression and Finding the Light Within ~Gayathri RamprasadMy Profile

  7. TLC Book Tour Review & Giveaway: Shadows in the Sun by Gayathri Ramprasad | Says:

    […] Thursday, March 13th:  Patricia’s Wisdom […]