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.
Visit Gayathri Ramprasad’s website.
“A truly masterful piece of work! This strikingly honest memoir gives a deeply personal insight into one woman’s experience with depression in the US and in India. Anyone living in any country will be hooked as I was to this stunning narrative that reveals Gayathri’s day-to-day struggle with depression through times of unrelenting despair, to a truly fascinating and momentous road to recovery and a life devoted to mental health advocacy.”
~ Delaney Ruston, MD, Fulbright Scholar, Filmmaker, and Mental Health Advocate.
About Gayathri Ramprasad
Gayathri Ramprasad is the Founder and President of ASHA International (www.myasha.org) a non-profit organization promoting personal, organizational, and community wellness. Her memoir, SHADOWS IN THE SUN: HEALING FROM DEPRESSION AND FINDING THE LIGHT WITHIN 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.
Gayathri’s successful battle in overcoming life-threatening mental illness and her amazing recovery taught her the power of hope and holistic healing in overcoming chronic illness. Now, she shares that message with others. Her ability to transform trauma into triumph has inspired and empowered thousands of audience members nationally, and internationally. Individuals and organizations alike applaud Gayathri as an agent of hope and transformational change.
Gayathri is a member of the Global Speakers Federation and the winner of the prestigious Eli Lilly Welcome Back Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Voice Award for Consumer Leadership sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Outstanding Alumna Award from her alma mater George Fox University.
Gayathri received her first undergraduate degree in science from Bangalore University in India, a second undergraduate degree in Management and Information Systems, and a Masters in Business Administration, from George Fox University in Newberg, OR. She lives in beautiful Portland, OR with her family.