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.
Healing from Depression
Like millions of people struggling with depression around the world, I longed to discover a magic pill to cure my ills and promise me nirvana. Now, finally, I was learning to look inward. Over time, I discovered eight keys that have helped me recover and thrive no matter what obstacles I’ve faced. Today I share them with others who struggle. Together, they spell “recovery”: Responsibility, Empowerment, Courage, Optimism, Vision, Empathy, Resilience, and You!
Over time, I have created a Personalized Wellness Action Plan that has helped me live a fulfilling life despite recurrent bouts of depression. I learned that there are eight dimensions of holistic wellness that I must attend to in creating an integrated plan: emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual, physical, financial, occupational, and environmental. These wellness practices have helped me put my plan into action:
- Pranayama – Breath work
- Transcendental Meditation
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Meaningful work
- Social connectedness
- Joyful hobbies
Most importantly, I learned that wellness begins with me.
Excerpted from Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within, by Gayathri Ramprasad. Copyright © 2014 Gayathri Ramprasad. Published by Hazelden.