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"Everyone who struggles with a mental illness, or who knows anyone
with depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, must read
this engrossing true story of courage in the face of heartbreaking
--Dilip V. Jeste, MD, president, American Psychiatric Association
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
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.
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