Blog Tour Review: Shadows in the Sun by Gayathri Ramprasad

Shadows in the Sun by Gayathri RamprasadAmericans have become immune to the terms, drugs, and behaviors associated with depression even as its reputation has grown as a debilitating and sometimes fatal mental illness. But in India and elsewhere the stigma associated with this condition is cultural and runs deep. In a sweeping narrative that spans the globe from Bangalore to Portland, Oregon, Gayathri Ramprasad shares her harrowing journey through depression to recovery in SHADOWS IN THE SUN: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within.
Gayathri Ramprasad was a blossoming, young Indian girl being raised by a loving family steeped in tradition. But as she grew into an adolescent, she found it more and more difficult to cope with the routine ups and downs of life. The “tipping point” came after Ramprasad failed a class at college and became inconsolable. Unlike a reasonably healthy person, who might be upset at first but come to a place of acceptance and a rational state of mind, Gayathri could not stop herself from obsessing over her failure and what this would mean to her future and her family.
Gayathri’s arranged marriage, moving to America, and the birth of her first child all led to suicidal ideation and attempts, along with varying degrees of fear and chaos for her growing family. At her lowest point, she was found digging a grave for herself in her backyard with her bare hands, mumbling unintelligibly, with her young daughter sitting in the house alone. Over time, she learned how to respect her illness without letting it dominate her existence. She also realized she wasn’t alone. Having grown up in a family and culture that initially thought her illness was a curse, was surprised to learn that her father, brother, and sister all struggled with mental illness. Today Gayathri Ramprasad is president of ASHA International, a nonprofit organization she founded, whose mission is her calling—to promote personal, organizational, and community wellness around the world. SHADOWS IN THE SUN illustrates how troubled a person can become and how wonderful it is when she can walk out of the darkness and into the light of recovery.

TLC Book Tours___

This review is part of Gayathri Ramprasad’s book tour with TLC Book Tours. Find out more about the tour and all the stops here.

For more information about upcoming tours and events please visit TLC Book Tours.

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Review

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.

5 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: Shadows in the Sun by Gayathri Ramprasad

  1. I’m always so impressed when someone can go through such challenges and struggles and come out on the other side and be able to help people in similar situations. How inspiring!

    I’m glad you enjoyed this book. Thanks for being on the tour!

    Like

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