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Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within

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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 fin 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.


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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 fin 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.

30 review for Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within

  1. 4 out of 5

    Divya Manoharan

    Oh, where do I even start? I think I must begin by requesting, nay, begging everyone out there to grab a copy and read this book. One day, you meet someone. And you know that someone is beautiful because you look at them and a split-second later, you look at them again. Something about them has spoken to you. She has the most gentle walk; his smile seems too big to hold his face. Her eyes shine, his nose twitches. She has a duck-walk, his hair does a cute floppy thing. It attracts you; it leaves Oh, where do I even start? I think I must begin by requesting, nay, begging everyone out there to grab a copy and read this book. One day, you meet someone. And you know that someone is beautiful because you look at them and a split-second later, you look at them again. Something about them has spoken to you. She has the most gentle walk; his smile seems too big to hold his face. Her eyes shine, his nose twitches. She has a duck-walk, his hair does a cute floppy thing. It attracts you; it leaves you wanting more. But.. I don't know. Maybe that isn't it; that isn't what leaves you yearning a single second's lifetime with them. Maybe. Maybe it's their soul. And you want that. You want to be a part of that, you want to be a part of their journey because something somewhere has left an indelible impression on you. But of course you're scared. You've never felt anything like it; you're scared the fire you feel for her will consume you instead. You're scared the burning desire for him will singe you, scar you. So, what do you do? Do you jump the burning abyss and hope against hope that she'll be there to catch you? Or do you step back, into the shadows, and hope that he'll find you one day? Shadows in the Sun is a love story. It is a love story between the author and her book. Very rarely, very rarely, you find a book that comes alive because it has its own soul. It invites you to be a part of the story it narrates and almost helplessly, knowing you'll be burnt, you find yourself pulled in. Straight sentences, crisp words, blunt phrases - and the author weaves poetry. She doesn't let you be a part of her entire story, no. With melodic precision, she zooms in and out of her childhood, sharpening her focus here, blurring an event there. She pulls you in slowly, excitedly, like she's creeping towards a firecracker to light it. And somehow, before you know it, she's lit the fuse at her home on Rama Iyengar Road. And in one 200-page explosion, you're living 40 years of her life. The pain. Oh, the pain. It's such a thin line, this line of awareness, between this side to safety and that side to lost frenzy - a parent's disapproval, a lost love, repressed freedom. What do you do other than call yourself mad when you don't know mental illness? How do you not want to die? Did the author make the choice to be burnt, scarred all over again when she wrote this out? Oh, how I'd like to know. Shadows in the Sun hits home to anybody who has suffered any form of mental illness. But it is much more than that. It is a book on humanitarianism told through one person's story. It tells us without telling us why, at the end of it all, we crave one thing and one thing only - people. And their love. Love brings acceptance. Acceptance brings joy, joy compassion. And that love lets you dream, it lets you fly. All the way to the sun and back and you realize one day that you aren't getting burnt anymore. One word. Read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gouri

    Trigger warning : Depression, eating disorder, suicide, sexual harassment, anxiety, drug induced violence, postpartum depression. Oh God! This book is everything I needed at the moment. Shadows in the Sun is Gayathri Ramprasad's memoir. Through the book she shares her journey, her almost-a-decade long battle with anxiety and depression. Mrs R is amazing. The narrator grows up in a very strict Hindu household with her loving parents and siblings. The first parts of the book talks about her slow des Trigger warning : Depression, eating disorder, suicide, sexual harassment, anxiety, drug induced violence, postpartum depression. Oh God! This book is everything I needed at the moment. Shadows in the Sun is Gayathri Ramprasad's memoir. Through the book she shares her journey, her almost-a-decade long battle with anxiety and depression. Mrs R is amazing. The narrator grows up in a very strict Hindu household with her loving parents and siblings. The first parts of the book talks about her slow descent into adolescent depression. It's so genuinely written that it gets painful to read. (Especially if you're someone who grew up in a similar household with a mental illness). She talks about her struggle with finding her identity as a teenager growing up and finding a balance between being the "pleaser"of the family as well as being her own person. The author manages to beautifully her love-hate relationship with her conservative mother as well as the Gods that she was rigidly taught to worship. The middle part talks about her marriage to a software engineer, Ramprasad and her migration to America. This part deals with the contrast in the lives lead in both the countries and her struggle with finding herself now that she is no longer a part of a huge family with a predetermined role to play. The next part deals with postpartum depression, her descent into the worst parts of her life with depression and finally hospitalization and her "awakening" or healing. Gayathri Ramprasad is very candid about her battle. She shares her thoughts without filters and I think that's what this made the book endearing. She does not try to paint herself or her family as anything other than themselves. Reading her story about growing up in a Hindu household in India with a family who considered depression a myth or a weakness made me feel understood and normal. I realized a lot of things about my own struggle with mental illness while reading this book. The biggest battle that she faces in her life is the fear that she is not normal and she shares how she overcame this through sharing her story and how she adopted a holistic method to heal herself and free herself of the stigma associated with mental health. Finally, my first 5 star book of 2020. I thank the Gods for making me pick up this book last year at a used bookstore. It made me cry like a baby way too many times. I would recommend it to everyone who grew up in a similar background and have dealt with mental illness. I would also recommend it to people who would love to understand how depression works or the stigma related to it in a country like ours. P.S. Gayathri Ramaprasad is the founder of a non profit called ASHA International, which strives to provide inclusion and empathy to people battling mental illness.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    A little background on me, because I think sometimes people wonder why certain books resonate more with others. My masters degree in in clinical psychology, and much of my research in both undergrad and grad school centered around cross-cultural education for mental health service providers. So I have an academic (if not professional, since I never got licensed and have never practiced) interest in the topic at hand, but also a personal one. It doesn't come up much here, but I've been fairly ope A little background on me, because I think sometimes people wonder why certain books resonate more with others. My masters degree in in clinical psychology, and much of my research in both undergrad and grad school centered around cross-cultural education for mental health service providers. So I have an academic (if not professional, since I never got licensed and have never practiced) interest in the topic at hand, but also a personal one. It doesn't come up much here, but I've been fairly open over the years about my own experiences with depression, being in therapy, being medicated, etc. (And if you haven't heard me talk about it: hi! ask my about my experience with mental health care!) So I usually jump at the chance to review books that touch on things like this, and Shadows in the Sun was certainly an excellent one to pick. The author shares her at time heartbreaking struggle with her own depression and anxiety, gone diagnosed for so long, with so many people in her life telling her to just shake it off, get over it, stop being so emotional, etc. It's hard to read sometimes because you know that she desperately needs better help than she's getting. Gayathri doesn't shy away from showing the real toll that depression takes on a person. This book is very well written and engaging. The descriptions are vivid, and you can imagine sitting around her family's table in India, being at her wedding, experiencing America for the first time, etc. She writes beautifully, and really pulls you into her story, her state of mind, her suffering as she tried to deal with her condition. Dealing with mental illness in the first place is difficult, but even moreso when you throw in different cultural norms and expectations into the mix, and the author handles making that balance clear very well. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an interesting, true look at both mental illness and cultural differences.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kristina Brownell

    I almost didn't finish this book. It was dark and depressing for far too long. But every time I thought about delving into a more light hearted read, this found it's way into my hands instead. The last 2 paragraphs made it 100% worth reading. "In a life filled with love and light, from time to time, my moods continue to cast shadows in the Sun. But I no longer curse the shadows, for they have become my greatest teachers. Depression in no longer a demon I dread, but a teacher whose wisdom I seek. I almost didn't finish this book. It was dark and depressing for far too long. But every time I thought about delving into a more light hearted read, this found it's way into my hands instead. The last 2 paragraphs made it 100% worth reading. "In a life filled with love and light, from time to time, my moods continue to cast shadows in the Sun. But I no longer curse the shadows, for they have become my greatest teachers. Depression in no longer a demon I dread, but a teacher whose wisdom I seek. Although depression has caused a great deal of pain and suffering in my life, it has also blessed me with many gifts. It has taught me the power of love to heal all wounds, the fragility of life, and the invincible resiliency of the human spirit. Most of all, it has taught me not to fear the darkness in our lives. For it is in our darkest hour that we discover the light within--the light of love, wisdom, courage and compassion. " Awesome quote, right?! Maybe you don't need to read the book? haha

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kitty

    I had the good luck to have met Gayathri Ramprasad at a training she did here in Portland a while back. She is an eloquent, engaging speaker and an amazingly bright and industrious person. The work she does for the community is incredible. I had a hard time imagining her ever having suffered from mental illness, much less being completely debilitated by it. After reading the first few chapters of this, I had to put it down. Not because it was poorly written-- it's not, and her descriptions of he I had the good luck to have met Gayathri Ramprasad at a training she did here in Portland a while back. She is an eloquent, engaging speaker and an amazingly bright and industrious person. The work she does for the community is incredible. I had a hard time imagining her ever having suffered from mental illness, much less being completely debilitated by it. After reading the first few chapters of this, I had to put it down. Not because it was poorly written-- it's not, and her descriptions of her home in India are vivid to the point you can taste the food and smell the jasmine-- but because of how close to home it was for me. As a mental health clinician with my own struggles with bipolar depression and PTSD, I just wasn't in the right place for it. It mirrored too much of my own feelings of hopelessness. But I picked it back up after running out of other things to read, and am glad I did. There is a lot of sadness and suffering to get through, and if I didn't already know that she made it out on the other side, I might not have stuck with it this time around either. In the end, it was an inspiration to me, and I think would be an inspiration to anyone else who suffers from depression, or has a loved one who does. Gayathri is a testament not only to the fact that depression isn't dependent on what you have or don't have in life (she mentions multiple times that she feels guilty for having a "perfect life" and not being able to enjoy it), but that there *is* hope for recovery. I'm glad I didn't give up on this, but more importantly, I'm glad Gayathri never gave up.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Heba Aldressi

    I have become concerned with learning about mental illness, particularly clinical depression, since a dear friend told me they were diagnosed with it. Along with being shocked and unable to absorb the fact that my friend has just unrevealed to me, I realized that I do not know anything about this mental disorder except for its name. I decided to learn about clinical depression and this book was one of a few books I listed to read. Aside from my adornment for Indian culture, I found this book qui I have become concerned with learning about mental illness, particularly clinical depression, since a dear friend told me they were diagnosed with it. Along with being shocked and unable to absorb the fact that my friend has just unrevealed to me, I realized that I do not know anything about this mental disorder except for its name. I decided to learn about clinical depression and this book was one of a few books I listed to read. Aside from my adornment for Indian culture, I found this book quite interesting and generally helpful in spreading awareness about mental disorders, which is very needed especially in developing countries. Gayathri takes us through her experience of suffering with her inner demons of dark and suicidal moods to her journey to find light within. Learning more about how painful and dark it is makes my heart ache for my friend and those who suffer. I know how important it is to support and embrace those people in their suffering and journey to heal, not only by believing there is hope, but also by truly believing in their ability to heal and thrive. Thanks Gayathri and everyone who share their stories with the world bringing light and awareness to our minds and hearts.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karan

    I will begin by saying that I love the title of the book. It describes the book's contents perfectly. Now then, I absolutely loved this book. I could feel along as if I was actually present during the scenes. I could relate to too many things due to my own struggles, which is good thing because it helps me be even more hopeful. It perfectly shows how depression sneaks in and how manipulative and deceptive it can be. The mental illness stigma and its impact has been shown in detail and it is a good I will begin by saying that I love the title of the book. It describes the book's contents perfectly. Now then, I absolutely loved this book. I could feel along as if I was actually present during the scenes. I could relate to too many things due to my own struggles, which is good thing because it helps me be even more hopeful. It perfectly shows how depression sneaks in and how manipulative and deceptive it can be. The mental illness stigma and its impact has been shown in detail and it is a good thing too, especially for Indians. I love India but sometimes the people in it can be ignorant and injurious. Of course, I also believe they mean well - they just don't understand. This ignorance is being challenged by many a things (such as this book.) Now people at this age are more open minded but at the time of author's struggles? Reading about it was a horror. My own admission to a psych ward made me relate even more. Not many people know about it, but the book made me think that maybe I should indeed talk more. It is also an example that mother's love is indeed unconditional, even if they do not understand you at times. Love you mom. Also, it gave me a laugh that almost everyone worked at Intel. xD

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dyane Harwood

    I absolutely loved this inspiring, beautifully written book! "Shadows in the Sun" helped me a great deal when I suffered from treatment-resistant bipolar depression due to postpartum bipolar disorder. Gayathri's journey made me feel less alone with my pain, and that was no small feat!  It comforted me when I read her book. Her vivid descriptions of her culture were fascinating, and  her insights reminded me that people do get better with depression!  "Shadows in the Sun" is a book I'd give as a I absolutely loved this inspiring, beautifully written book! "Shadows in the Sun" helped me a great deal when I suffered from treatment-resistant bipolar depression due to postpartum bipolar disorder. Gayathri's journey made me feel less alone with my pain, and that was no small feat!  It comforted me when I read her book. Her vivid descriptions of her culture were fascinating, and  her insights reminded me that people do get better with depression!  "Shadows in the Sun" is a book I'd give as a gift to anyone experiencing depression because it's the perfect bibliotherapeutic tool---in other words, it helps with mood disorders by giving the reader hope. She's a wonderful writer and "Shadows in the Sun" is such a worthwhile read!  

  9. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    The title of this book can be a bit off putting, because it appears to be a self help book. I️ got a few odd looks when I️ was reading it. But don’t let that turn you away from it. It’s a fascinating memoir of one woman’s struggle with mental illness and social stigma. I️ learned a lot from this book about Indian culture, human nature, relationships, and yes, depression. It was very emotionally moving and a good reminder that you can never know what another person is going through. Highly recomm The title of this book can be a bit off putting, because it appears to be a self help book. I️ got a few odd looks when I️ was reading it. But don’t let that turn you away from it. It’s a fascinating memoir of one woman’s struggle with mental illness and social stigma. I️ learned a lot from this book about Indian culture, human nature, relationships, and yes, depression. It was very emotionally moving and a good reminder that you can never know what another person is going through. Highly recommend.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Compelling and inspiring As a person living with depression I was curious if this memoir would be yet another positive think your way well story. Instead it is a compelling account of one woman's experience with depression and an honest critique of the burden of stigma and lack of mental health care in the world as a whole. Interspersed amidst Gayathri's personal story facts and statistics tell the other story about mental illness and the challenge in overcoming it. The cross cultural difficultie Compelling and inspiring As a person living with depression I was curious if this memoir would be yet another positive think your way well story. Instead it is a compelling account of one woman's experience with depression and an honest critique of the burden of stigma and lack of mental health care in the world as a whole. Interspersed amidst Gayathri's personal story facts and statistics tell the other story about mental illness and the challenge in overcoming it. The cross cultural difficulties she faced are dealt with both honestly and sensitively. Excellent read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Briley

    I think everyone should read this book. I had no idea about the physical symptoms of depression. I cringed reading both her symptoms and the treatment from family and medical professionals. I am glad that more people have access to better treatment and less stigma now, but it still needs to get better.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dee Renee Chesnut

    This ebook was free when I downloaded it to my Nook library from Barnes and Noble. It is a creative nonfiction type of memoir because the author must fill in her memories, lost to ECT shock treatment for her depression, with stories told by her family members. I recommend it to readers who want to understand behaviors of others who need better mental health treatments.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    one of the best books i have ever read

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Very interesting book on mental illness. The struggle and strain on the person and also their family. Fascinating read on a culture that I know nothing about.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Carlson

    Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your story! It will continue to heal and inspire so many people in so many dark places.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chet Taranowski

    Not only an honest description of the possible severity of depression but also an interesting exploration of Indian culture.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paul Molive

    Whoa, what a great story I just read. I suggest you join NovelStar’s writing competition, you might be their next big star.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kenza Debbarh

    I like it! Some parts especially at the beginning were a bit long because the author was describing her feelings and perceptions, and it was very negative given the context of this book so it was a bit harder to read and I felt like it dragged on. However, I found it very interesting to learn more about the culture, the stigma and the impact that mental illness has on the family as a whole. I also loved the ending!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

    This review was first published to Bookish Ardour. Gayathri Ramprasad hit a point in her struggle with mental illness where she realised she wanted to be a voice for those living with such debilitating conditions. I’m glad she decided to do so and has done so. Gayathri has the right voice for bridging the gap between ignorance and awareness. Her voice has a wonderful balance of compassionate understanding, perception, empathy, and her cultural upbringing lends her the experience to reach those os This review was first published to Bookish Ardour. Gayathri Ramprasad hit a point in her struggle with mental illness where she realised she wanted to be a voice for those living with such debilitating conditions. I’m glad she decided to do so and has done so. Gayathri has the right voice for bridging the gap between ignorance and awareness. Her voice has a wonderful balance of compassionate understanding, perception, empathy, and her cultural upbringing lends her the experience to reach those ostracised by stigma. I’ve mentioned before, especially on my personal blog, I suffer from mental illnesses. I’ve had general anxiety, panic disorder, social phobia, OCD, and have struggled with depression and a choking phobia since I was a child. I’m now thirty-one and am currently accepting treatment for all the aforementioned. My life has been greatly affected by my mental illnesses to the point where I have avoided socialising, have been unable to leave the house, and have contacted suicide helplines. Mental illness is difficult enough to live with without the added stigma from both society and yourself. Gayathri is very candid about her experiences and gives a very in-depth window into the mindset of someone who is suffering with mental illnesses, but can’t see it. I think there’s a time in everyone’s experience, everyone with a mental illness that is, who doesn’t put two and two together when it comes to their growing symptoms. It’s not always denial, quite often it’s ignorance, and it definitely can take more than yourself to realise something is terribly amiss. Reading Gayathri’s story made me feel connected to someone else who has struggled and gave me hope, not necessarily for myself (I’m not in a state of deep depression), but for society and humanity. When someone like this can experience what they have, live to tell their story, and then finds the motivation to go beyond their recovery, it is truly inspiring and a relief. I was so easily engrossed by Gayathri’s candour and her prose, by the end of the the book I wanted to actively become involved in her global awareness campaign. Her story, her words, and the way she delivers it makes Shadows in the Sun a very heartbreaking, bittersweet, but rewarding memoir to read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Briana

    Here is Ramprasad's Personalized Wellness Action Plan (pretty much looks like any common sense action plan with maybe a few that some people are not familiar with): *Pranayama ~ Breath Work *Transcendental Meditation *Journaling *Exercise *Hydration *Nutrition *Meaningful Work *Social Connectedness *Spirituality *Service *Joyful Hobbies *Sleep Along with eight key words that have helped her along the way: R - Responsibility E - Empowerment C - Courage O - Optimism V - Vision E - Empathy R - Resilience Y - You! = RECO Here is Ramprasad's Personalized Wellness Action Plan (pretty much looks like any common sense action plan with maybe a few that some people are not familiar with): *Pranayama ~ Breath Work *Transcendental Meditation *Journaling *Exercise *Hydration *Nutrition *Meaningful Work *Social Connectedness *Spirituality *Service *Joyful Hobbies *Sleep Along with eight key words that have helped her along the way: R - Responsibility E - Empowerment C - Courage O - Optimism V - Vision E - Empathy R - Resilience Y - You! = RECOVERY I really did enjoy reading this book. I appreciate the author's life story and her ongoing struggle with mental illness. However, I did often find the book to be rather trite. She seems really disconnected, emotionally. Perhaps because that was not her goal in writing the book. I would intuit that her goal was to help others know they are not alone and that there are resources out there for people who are struggling. After all, she has gone on to be really successful at pioneering some of these resources. I connect more with emotion rather than intellect/facts. And it seemed to me that she was trying to be so factual and optimistic about everything, even when talking about the times she was going through pure hell. My brain does not understand that very well. I feel like she was sacrificing her emotion to prove to others of her strength and resolve, to prove that to get through life with this malady is possible. While all that may be true, I still would have liked to witness her emotions more. I like to read the grueling details of someone's experience. And I like to know how they came out on the other end. This was a little too hopey dopey for my tastes. The author is a beautiful soul who really seems to care about her wellness and that of others. She provides many resources for those coping with mental illness. One the GREATEST aspects of this book is opening the readers eyes to the plight of those with mental illness in lesser developed countries. Depression is taboo and families are scared and ashamed to seek help. Resources are disgustingly limited for people who are suffering. I think she has helped create another path towards breaking the stigmas that surround mental illness. If anyone is looking to read this to find someone they can empathize with, this may not be the book you are looking for.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Meg - A Bookish Affair

    "Shadows in the Sun" is the powerful memoir that centers on a woman struggling with depression. Gayathri comes from a very traditional Indian family. From the time that she was fairly young, she started having feelings that she did not know how to deal with and her family didn't really know either, mostly because mental illness was not really addressed in her family's culture. It took Gayathri coming to the United States and suffering a mental breakdown before she really got treatment. This book "Shadows in the Sun" is the powerful memoir that centers on a woman struggling with depression. Gayathri comes from a very traditional Indian family. From the time that she was fairly young, she started having feelings that she did not know how to deal with and her family didn't really know either, mostly because mental illness was not really addressed in her family's culture. It took Gayathri coming to the United States and suffering a mental breakdown before she really got treatment. This book is both a personal story but it also explores how mental illness is seen and how it is treated in different places. It was so interesting to read about this aspect in the book. I guess I took for granted that it would be easy to get treatment for a recognized issue if you wanted it no matter where you were. It was really eye-opening to me to read about that. It made me realize that there is a long way to go with treatment in many places! This book was often hard for me to read because I wanted so badly for her to get treated. Gayathri gives an unflinching look at what she went through. Although she had suffered from depression as a teen, she suffers horrible depression after the birth of her child, which had to be so incredibly scary. I think this book acts as a good case study of why treatment is so important!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sowmya

    This is an inspiring story of an Indian woman who overcame severe depression and is now a mental health advocate. This is the first Indian account I read on depression and it is spot-on. I found it very inspiring and it made me hopeful about the future (at least immediately after finishing). Ofcourse, it perhaps needs to be taken with a pinch of salt given the possibilities of a recovery never happening for various reasons. Nevertheless, in the wilderness of depression, it surely gives a reason This is an inspiring story of an Indian woman who overcame severe depression and is now a mental health advocate. This is the first Indian account I read on depression and it is spot-on. I found it very inspiring and it made me hopeful about the future (at least immediately after finishing). Ofcourse, it perhaps needs to be taken with a pinch of salt given the possibilities of a recovery never happening for various reasons. Nevertheless, in the wilderness of depression, it surely gives a reason to hope! This is a very honest and open account - and respects to the author for coming out so openly and creating awareness! It can be a bit difficult to continue reading the first half. But, once it passes, the real story begins in this book. So, I advise people who get bored in the first few pages to persist :-) Acc. to me, the book would have benefited from better editing too. I would recommend it to anyone (Indians in particular) who want to know more about depression as a mental ill-ness, told from the sufferer's perspective; or those who have a close family member or a friend who has some form of clinical depression and you have no clue how to handle it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Cremonesi

    I recommend this book for many reasons. As a woman, I enjoyed seeing a young woman in a male-dominated society rebel against expectations. The traveler in me loved the rich descriptions of her life in India -- the colors, the smells, the emotions -- my senses were all on high alert while reading this portion of the memoir. But the author's greatest gift to her readers lies in her ability to allow someone who has no personal experience with mental illness to deeply feel and connect with her pain, I recommend this book for many reasons. As a woman, I enjoyed seeing a young woman in a male-dominated society rebel against expectations. The traveler in me loved the rich descriptions of her life in India -- the colors, the smells, the emotions -- my senses were all on high alert while reading this portion of the memoir. But the author's greatest gift to her readers lies in her ability to allow someone who has no personal experience with mental illness to deeply feel and connect with her pain, even as the author is becoming more disconnected with the world around her. Her anguishing journey into the depths of depression is harrowing, brutal and honest. And her struggle to ignite her inner light and heal almost feels as fulfilling for the reader as I imagine it did for Ms. Ramprasad. I am left not only with a greater understanding and compassion for those suffering from mental illness but also with a sense of hope that others may also find the courage and support to overcome this disease. I admire and thank Gayathri for her honesty and willingness to publish such personal account.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    This is a fabulous book! There were some things I didn't like but overall loved it! The author's ability to use language to evoke tremendous emotional struggles is the hallmark of this book. I was afraid, as I read, that the italicized portions that were educational would be distracting. Not the case with this book. I was afraid once she found the light within, her struggle would be over. Again, not the case with this book. I was afraid it would feel like going to work. Still not the case. I do This is a fabulous book! There were some things I didn't like but overall loved it! The author's ability to use language to evoke tremendous emotional struggles is the hallmark of this book. I was afraid, as I read, that the italicized portions that were educational would be distracting. Not the case with this book. I was afraid once she found the light within, her struggle would be over. Again, not the case with this book. I was afraid it would feel like going to work. Still not the case. I do think you have to be ready to read this book. I had it on my list for a number of months before I was in the state of mind to be able to read it. So, take your time, wait until it is time for you to start it, then read it! If it gets too hard, put it down and wait for a better time. Read it though, it's worth it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This is the story of depression. Written by a woman born and raised in India. Neither she nor her family recognized that mental illness was to blame for her weight loss, nausea/vomiting, irrational thoughts and feeling of worthlessness and despair. After her arranged marriage and a move to America, she was better until after the birth of her daughter. Post-partum depression came on with a vengeance. Her story is touching and hopeful, through love and understanding of herself she found a glimmer This is the story of depression. Written by a woman born and raised in India. Neither she nor her family recognized that mental illness was to blame for her weight loss, nausea/vomiting, irrational thoughts and feeling of worthlessness and despair. After her arranged marriage and a move to America, she was better until after the birth of her daughter. Post-partum depression came on with a vengeance. Her story is touching and hopeful, through love and understanding of herself she found a glimmer of hope and persevered to recovery. She became an advocate for mental illness worldwide, even though she still struggles with depression. She is a beacon of hope for those suffering still.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is a very different kind of book than I usually read. It was not a mystery, or a romantic comedy. It is a story about a woman from India. Her name is Gayathri Ramprasad. You say her name as Guy-a-three. The story is really a memoir about her journey through depression and back again to a well functioning life. It is well written with all the resources, and books to help others handle their illness. It was written as a story and kept me interested until the very end. It was well worth the time This is a very different kind of book than I usually read. It was not a mystery, or a romantic comedy. It is a story about a woman from India. Her name is Gayathri Ramprasad. You say her name as Guy-a-three. The story is really a memoir about her journey through depression and back again to a well functioning life. It is well written with all the resources, and books to help others handle their illness. It was written as a story and kept me interested until the very end. It was well worth the time to read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    patricia

    This is a look at depression from the inside. Gayathri Ramprasad tells her own story. The hospitalizations, the suicidal thoughts, the fears. Shadows in the Sun is a powerful story. It could be a depressing story, it is not. It would give someone suffering from depression a ray of hope. Guya is a woman raised in India where mental illness is a stigma, a disgrace. Recovery is a journey she says not a destination. That is a truth for other serious illnesses as well. It includes sources and explana This is a look at depression from the inside. Gayathri Ramprasad tells her own story. The hospitalizations, the suicidal thoughts, the fears. Shadows in the Sun is a powerful story. It could be a depressing story, it is not. It would give someone suffering from depression a ray of hope. Guya is a woman raised in India where mental illness is a stigma, a disgrace. Recovery is a journey she says not a destination. That is a truth for other serious illnesses as well. It includes sources and explanations. If you have or know someone with depression it would be a good book to read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Privy Trifles

    I perhaps share a lot more in common with the author apart from our mother tongues. I share some of the nightmares she has suffered, her desire to kill herself, the thought of considering herself a useless human being not fit to live, a bad daughter, a bad sister, the words that haunt her till a long time of her life, her long battle with depression and her victorious leap that she took from thereon to make her life better and better. She has inspired me to write my own memoir someday…! Read the I perhaps share a lot more in common with the author apart from our mother tongues. I share some of the nightmares she has suffered, her desire to kill herself, the thought of considering herself a useless human being not fit to live, a bad daughter, a bad sister, the words that haunt her till a long time of her life, her long battle with depression and her victorious leap that she took from thereon to make her life better and better. She has inspired me to write my own memoir someday…! Read the full review at www.privytrifles.co.in/2014/12/book-r...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sanja Knezovic

    What a journey! Excellent book about depression and how the author overcame it. I like the authenticity and I have learned more about Indian culture. Mrs. Ramprasad tells her own, deeply moving story and encourages everyone to enjoy simple things in life, especially health, family and friends. Depression is a condition that she learned how to manage and she created life of meaning and purpose. The book is a personal story, but it is universal and could be used as a textbook in psychology classes What a journey! Excellent book about depression and how the author overcame it. I like the authenticity and I have learned more about Indian culture. Mrs. Ramprasad tells her own, deeply moving story and encourages everyone to enjoy simple things in life, especially health, family and friends. Depression is a condition that she learned how to manage and she created life of meaning and purpose. The book is a personal story, but it is universal and could be used as a textbook in psychology classes.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Janna

    I read this book in a day it was so enthralling. The author offers a unique glimpse into the world of a person dealing with depression in two cultures, India and America. While I don't suffer from depression, I have several close loved ones who do and this book helped me appreciate what they may be dealing with on a daily basis. It also offers a great message of hope and understanding for those who suffer from mental illness and those who love them. I read this book in a day it was so enthralling. The author offers a unique glimpse into the world of a person dealing with depression in two cultures, India and America. While I don't suffer from depression, I have several close loved ones who do and this book helped me appreciate what they may be dealing with on a daily basis. It also offers a great message of hope and understanding for those who suffer from mental illness and those who love them.

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