In the Media
- Shadows in the Sun listed on Buzz Feed’s List of Books –
Thrilled to share that my memoir, Shadows in the Sun was listed as number 2 among 31 Books That Will Help You Better Understand Mental Illness And Disorders on the Buzz Feed website.
- The Asian Age – Near Death the Moment of Inspiration –
“Using the power of her own experiences, Gayathri has empowered others to wake up to depression, along with their trust. “I once mentored an[sic] young woman and her husband Thane. The lady’s biggest fear was having a baby. Her biggest dream, too, was to have a child. She managed to triumph over her fears and now she has a 15-month-old,” smiles Gayathri.
The book is published by Random House India.”
-Soumashree Sarkar, The Asian Age (Read the full article)
- New Woman Magazine: Towards Light – “Looking back at her journey, Gayathri says, “Depression has caused a great deal of pain and suffering in our life; it has also blessed us with many gifts. It has taught us about the power of love to heal all wounds, the fragility of life and the invincible resilience of the human spirit.” Gayathri has documented her incredible story in a book titled, Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within (Random House, India). It’s a memoir that provides a first-of-its-kind cross-cultural view of mental illness.
New Woman – February 2015 (Read full article)
- Times of India Book Review –
“Author Gayathri Ramprasad feels the aversion to talking about mental health is strong even among non-resident Indians. The founder of ASHA International, a US-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting personal, organizational and community wellness, Ramprasad is also the author of Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within, a harrowing personal memoir of living with mental illness.”
~Shrabonti Bagchi, Times of India (Read full article)
- Great Book Review –
Yet, as the book is a masterpiece which cultivates compassion and understanding, it simply must be reported on once again. Moreover, the book also shines a light on yet another issue which Transcendental Meditation practice can help solve.”
- My memoir will dismantle the insidious chains of stigma –
Why did you decide to write Shadows in the Sun, given that there’s still a social stigma attached to mental illness?
I was raised in India, by loving, hardworking parents who embraced our national philosophy, Satyameva Jayate. Yet, when I was diagnosed with clinical depression at the age of 25 on a trip back home from the US, where I had married and moved, my family and I were terrified of the truth and its consequences.
- To hell and back –
Here is a book that makes you wish there were many more like it. Shadows in the Sun takes on a subject that is still in the shadows in our country: mental illness. Gayathri Ramprasad talks with great candour about what it’s like to be an Indian grappling with a disease of the mind— namely, clinical depression.
- Helping others has helped me heal and become whole again –
My Definition Of Success | Success is the ability to realize my fullest potential and help others do the same.
My definition of success has certainly changed over the years. Growing up in India, success was measured by my grades at school and my compliance at home and in the community. All that changed when I began my harrowing journey into the dark abyss of depression. In the decades to come, success was defined by my ability to free myself from the insidious chains of stigma, shame and secrecy.
- A Celebration of Women & Recovery –
The gender gap in substance abuse has been shrinking for several years, and it’s estimated that women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from major depression than men. But while millions of women know what it’s like to struggle with addiction or some form of mental illness, the good news is many recover to lead purposeful and meaningful lives of health and wellness.
- How Meditation Can Be The Best Medicine –
I just had a wonderful conversation with Caroline, Paige and Lisa on HUFFPOST LIVE on the healing power of meditation to manage our illness and cultivate the resilience to embark on our road to recovery and wellness.
- Stigma of Mental Illness Radio Show –
On July 31st, I had the pleasure of doing a radio interview with Crissie Hodges on her Stigma of Mental Illness Radio Show.
- Depression Around the World: Overcoming Cultural Stigma –
An estimated 350 million people struggle with depression around the world. If that wasn’t staggering enough, many cultures across the globe are ignorant about depression and other mental health issues. It’s something Gayathri Ramprasad knows all too well. To listen to Gayathri’s interview with Lisa Davis, MPH, host of Naturally Savvy on RadioMD, please click here…
- When it comes to matters of mental health and wellness, culture counts. –
As a woman cradled between the diametric cultures of the ancient East, India, and the modern West, America, I am acutely aware of the cultural barriers to recovery, and culturally-responsive pathways to mental health and wellness.
- Adversity to Advocacy Spotlight –
My dear friend and advocate Jeff Bell recently recorded an Adversity to Advocacy feature that was heard on KCBS Radio, and a spotlight interview with me. I invite you to listen to both recordings and learn more about the incredible work of the Adversity to Advocacy Alliance.
- It’s Your Health: An interview with Gayathri Ramprasad –
I am thrilled to share that I did an interview with Lisa Davis, host of the It’s Your Health Radio Show, an NPR affiliate, on Wednesday, May 28th. With her ever popular It’s Your Health radio and television shows, founder Lisa Davis, MPH, offers the general public access to the latest and greatest in everything health and wellness.
- Holistic Approaches to Mental Wellness: Gayathri Ramprasad –
Around the world, people with psychiatric illness and their families dearly want solutions to alleviate their symptoms and to help them resume high-quality lives. Medications can help most mental illness sufferers, but not all, and usually not completely. At IMHRO, we work hard every day to promote research to improve such solutions. Although dramatic improvements in medical treatments are possible, they may take some time to develop. For now, however, there are some emerging approaches to mental wellness which can assist many to cope with their conditions and improve their outlook.
- Gayathri Ramprasad on Acceptance, Healing and Cross-Cultural Advocacy for the Mentally Ill –
As a teen ager Gayathri Rampasad suffered from debilitating panic and depression, but was only told to “get over it.” Raised in India, she eventually came to Portland, Oregon, through an arranged marriage, and became a mother. Here her depression became suicidal and she was locked up more than once in a mental hospital. In her memoir Shadows in the Sun, Healing from Depression and finding the Light Within, Gayathri shares her story of understanding and transformation; and tells how she overcame the shame and stigma of mental illness, which plagues over 450 million globally.
- BUST Magazine Review –
Bust Magazine book review by Helen Matatov.
From Lena Dunham’s portrayal of obsessive-compulsive disorder on GIRLS to countless TV ads for anti-depressants, mental illness has become a well-publicized affliction. But readers are reminded by Gayathri Ramprasad’s haunting memoir that this wasn’t always the case. In the early ’80s, in her homeland of India, Ramprasad was struck with debilitating depression that was dismissed as adolescent angst. Visits to the doctor resulted in prescriptions for anti-nausea medication and suggestions from her family that she “pray with a pure heart” in order to treat her “imaginary sickness.”
- South Asian Woman Magazine Book Review –
Any South Asian woman suffering from depression or a mental illness should definitely read Shadows in The Sun by Gayathri Ramprasad. Needless to say, this book can save a life, whether you are a man or a woman. Like Ramprasad’s parents, many parents nowadays, overlook the signs of depression that are lurking within their children; therefore, I really recommend this book to parents as well. It is a heartwarming story of how Gayathri Ramprasad, a girl growing up in Bangalore then later migrating to the States, dealt with the serious mental illness that is so often taken for granted — depression. Beautifully written, Ramprasad explains the story … Continue reading the review
- Speaking Truth –
by Sara Kelm Spring 2014
Gayathri Ramprasad was terrified. It was presentation day in her Effective Communication class, and all 20 MBA students were required to give a five-minute speech centered on a quote. But the presentation itself wasn’t what scared her – it was what she planned to say.
For the first time in public, Ramprasad was going to share the truth about her journey through depression and the shame and stigma that came with it. The quote she had chosen was “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” It wasn’t an easy story to share, but after much praying and soulsearching she decided it was finally time to speak up. Continue reading the article
- Culture & Mental Health Stigma: An Advocate’s Story of Struggle and Hope –
by Margararite Tartakovsky, M.S. on April 4, 2014
“I wish my son had cancer instead of depression,” an Indian mother told Gayathri Ramprasad.
“If he had cancer, all my friends and family would sympathize with us. How can I tell them about depression? They won’t even understand [what that means]…What kind of future will he have?”
A week doesn’t go by that Ramprasad, founder and president of ASHA International, doesn’t hear from families whose loved ones need help but are terrified to seek it. (The organization promotes mental health awareness, hope and wellness.)
Stigma is rampant in Indian communities all over the world. Ramprasad was born and raised in Bangalore, one of India’s largest metropolitan cities. There, she had access to the best health professionals, and yet, her depression, anxiety and panic attacks went undiagnosed. Continue reading the article at Psych Central.
- Mental Illness Across Cultures: An Interview with Gayathri Ramprasad –
by Therese J. Borchard on April 3, 2014
As much stigma as there is in American homes regarding mental illness, it’s much worse in other countries. Gayathri Ramprasad grew up in Bangalore, India, where traditional Hindu culture has no concept of depression. There was no doctor to diagnose her anxiety disorder as an adolescent girl nor medicine to treat the condition. Continue reading the article at Psych Central.
- Can You Heal From Severe Depression? –
by Martha Rosenberg on April 2, 2014
Rosenberg: Your book gives vivid images and details of your childhood, growing up in India. It seems like you were never alone, between your immediate family, your extended family and, later, your in-laws. Yet, psychologically you were totally alone.
Ramprasad: India is collectivistic culture and the Indian family can either be a fortress or a prison. When the “enemy” is mental illness, it is often a prison. Continue reading the article at Huffington Post Healthy Living.
- ‘Shadows in the Sun’: Activist Chronicles Her Lifelong Struggle with Depression –
by Sunita Sohrabji on March 20, 2014
On Apr. 30 1989, Portland, Oregon resident Gayathri Ramprasad found herself secluded in a psychiatric ward for the second time while she was pregnant with her second child.
The experience of being stripped bare, both literally and metaphorically, was Ramprasad’s awakening from the semi-conscious, over-medicated state in which she had lived for the past 11 years. The Indian American woman said she was “transformed” as she saw for the first time people like herself who were also struggling with mental illness. Continue reading the article at India West.
- When a parent has a mental illness: Q & A with Gayathri Ramprasad, mental health advocate –
by Amy Wang on March 05, 2014
Question: How is a parent’s diagnosis of mental illness most likely to affect his or her children?
Answer: A parent’s diagnosis of mental illness affects his or her children in a multitude of ways impacting their relationship, day-to-day functioning, and overall wellbeing.
For example, a child whose parent is struggling with depression might feel helpless and isolated when her parent can’t get out of bed and help her get ready for school. Or, a child might feel confused and scared about a parent’s erratic mood swings and agitation caused by bipolar disorder.
Q: How soon after diagnosis should a parent reveal the diagnosis to children? Should the parent wait until a specific course of treatment is determined? Or tell the children as soon as he or she knows?
A: The sooner the better – Continue reading the article at OregonLive
- Depression, anxiety: What worked for me –
by Gayathri Ramprasad on March 4, 2014
For more than a decade of my life, I struggled with debilitating anxiety, panic attacks and depression. And, like millions of people around the world, I longed to discover a magic pill to cure my ills and promise me nirvana.
But, despite taking many medications, ongoing psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECTs), hospitalizations and failed suicide attempts, wellness remained a distant dream.
The anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants worsened my symptoms, and made me more agitated, depressed and suicidal. And I was utterly confused why the medications that were supposed to alleviate my symptoms exacerbated them instead.
Staring out of the fifth-floor hospital window one day after yet another failed suicide attempt, I promised to take charge of my life and create a life of wellness. I was sick and tired of being a chronically mentally ill patient. I just wanted to be well.
Most of all, I wanted to be able to take my little girl to school, play with her in the park, and tuck her to bed at night with her favorite story.
Somewhere deep in my soul, I was convinced that the medications were making me sicker instead of helping me heal. So, despite my fears and those of my family, I decided to listen to my inner wisdom and wean myself off all medications under the supervision of my psychiatrist and explore holistic pathways to health and wellness. Continue reading the article at CNN
- Culture Counts –
by Gayathri Ramprasad on February 25, 2014
“I wish my son had cancer instead of depression” the mother of an Indian teenager I recently met said to me. “If he had cancer, I could at least share our pain with our family and friends, and ask them for help” she said, tears streaming down her face.
My heart breaks every time I hear about the deep sense of isolation many Indian families feel in supporting their loved one struggling with mental health issues. As an Indian woman who has struggled with debilitating anxiety and depression, I know first-hand the difficulties of overcoming the stigma of mental illness within the Indian community. Continue reading the article at DBSA.
- A Conversation with Gayathri Ramprasad –
by Rose Caiola Musacchia on February 25, 2014
‘I could either die in the darkness or
I could light a candle’
I had the opportunity to speak with the remarkable Gayathri Ramprasad, whose memoir Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within (Hazelden)—called a “a cross-cultural lens to mental illness”—was recently published. Her harrowing experiences with depression, the social stigma depression sufferers endure, and her courage in helping herself and others bring a new perspective to an important issue. Continue reading the article at Rewire Me
- Shadows in the Sun: Healing from depression and finding the light within –
by Alice Peck on February 25, 2014
Gayathri Ramprasad’s memoir Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within (Hazelden) is “a cross-cultural lens to mental illness” tracing her lifelong battle with depression to her realization of “the light within”—a spiritual and emotional awakening which set her onto the path of healing. Here she shares the steps she took to heal from depression. Continue reading the article at Rewire Me.
- Cedar Mill woman writes memoir about depression, mental illness –
by Cindy Hudson on February 26, 2014
When she was growing up in India during the 1960s and ’70s, Gayathri Ramprasad saw mental illness treated as something shameful, to be hidden away. So when she started to have chronic anxiety and depression issues, she struggled to get help. Her issues intensified after she moved to Portland for an arranged marriage and began to have children.
“I was a young, homesick bride, and after I had a baby I grew more despondent by the minute,” says the Cedar Mill resident, but she was afraid to reveal her thoughts to anyone. Even though she eventually sought treatment, Ramprasad continued to suffer and was even confined to an isolation cell at one point. That’s when her life started to turn around. Continue reading the article at OregonLive
- What If You Grew Up Depressed in a Culture That Doesn’t Acknowledge Depression? –
By Therese Borchard on January 28, 2014
As much stigma as there lives in American homes regarding mental illness, it’s much worse in other countries. Gayathri Ramprasad grew up in Bangalore, India, where traditional Hindu culture has no concept of depression. There was no doctor to diagnose her anxiety disorder as an adolescent girl nor medicine to treat the condition. Now, as Founder and President of ASHA International, she is an agent of hope for persons of all cultures that suffer from depression and anxiety. Continue reading this article on Everyday Health