Shadows in the Sun: Healing From Depression and Finding the Light Within: A Memoir

Gayathri Ramprasad. Hazelden (Perseus, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-61649-475-9
From the president of the mental illness activism group ASHA International comes this memoir of struggling with depression and the disease’s stigma. When her first bout of depression strikes as a teenager in Bangalore, Ramprasad’s strict father tells her to “buck up” when doctors can’t diagnose her frequent vomiting and crying spells. Her devout Hindu mother tells her to pray harder to evade the evil eye. Because mental health treatment is so rare in India, for years Ramprasad doesn’t even know what her disease is called. The diagnosis—given by an Indian psychiatrist—comes abruptly, but naming the problem is not a magical cure. Even when Ramprasad moves to America and begins to see Western doctors, she continues to suffer intense anxiety and suicidal ideation, often brought on by the very medications prescribed to cure her. Though the book would have benefitted from more analysis to balance the immersive experience of reading about the author’s experiences, Ramprasad admirably offers an honest depiction of depression as an ongoing struggle. She reminds readers that not all cultures deal with mental illness in the same way, and her hard-won triumph makes it easy for readers to support her crusade of hope. Agent: Susan Lee Cohen, Riverside Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/17/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-61649-531-2
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