Gayathri Ramprasad has just published a memoir, Shadows in the Sun, which uncovers her intimate story of growing up in India when it was shameful to admit mental disturbances of any kind–especially crippling anxiety and depression. With the help of compassionate peers who had experienced the worst kind of mental disturbances and recovered, Gayathri exposes her profound, mad forays into suicidal depression and how she found her way to recovery using holistic health and meditation. She also becomes a mental health advocate and starts an organization, Asha International, to educate people about mental illness, defuse shame and stigma, and give people the tools to find health.
I relished the read. Gayathri writes with clarity and heart. She carries you with her from the delicious perfumed air of India’s markets and temple rituals to the pristine but barren hospital rooms of the USA, and finally wraps you up in the warm comforts of the home where she now enjoys life with her husband and two daughters. She describes the point when she turned away from shame and secrecy to truth telling—and transmits her faith that this was central to her finding health. Readers will come away full of hope that recovery is possible and there are individuals and organizations, within reach, to help them towards recovery.