How Do I Break Out of the Cycle of Depression and Self-Blame?

I grew up in poverty and had no one to coach me academically or philosophically, but was smart with minimal effort, did well, and muddled through a strong state school, then into debt and got a master’s at a top private school just to validate my intelligence/have something productive to do (a perpetual 3.4 GPA student) rather than continue “wasting away.” I’m depressed, uncertain about what I want, but ambitious and obsessively asking myself what the next step in life is, what is meaningful to me, and what careers are worth pursuing to me.

I’m contemplating getting a PhD, but I’m on my way out of my 20s and so worried I’ll just be poor for the majority of my adult life. Let me know if you need more details to make sense of this  question, and thank you for your patience for yet another 20-something  whiner (nota bene–a tough love approach will just leave me feeling more  worthless, as it’s the approach I’ve tried on myself my whole life, which eventually ran out of steam and left me mired in depression).

  1. I am called “ the biggest loser” in my friends circle.
  2. My father thinks that I have wasted his money in paying tuition fees of universities. He thinks that I don’t deserve a great job.
  3. My relatives consider me an average student who has no ambition and career.
  4. My boss thinks that I can’t handle any situation and she can’t depend on me.
  5. According to the success criteria of the society, I am a complete failure.
  6. I am short height person~ 5′ 2′’
  7. My physical stamina is very low. After running 5 minutes, I can’t breathe and I feel exhausted.
  8. I don’t have a great career. My job application has been rejected by 1700 employers till today. Currently, I am doing an ordinary job.
  9. My friends are driving their personal car while I am still hanging in the local bus in a huge crowd.
  10. I am going bald gradually.
  11. I don’t have good physical appearance.
  12. I’ve been rejected by many girls and I don’t have girl friend at all.
  13. I have directional dyslexia. I always get confused about left-right direction and find myself lost even on common roads.
  14. I have a severe problem to forget everything. I can’t remember anything. I forget important deadlines of assignments, persons’ names, important steps and so on.
  15. I grew up in a middle class family and my parents don’t have any property.
  16. I lack self-confidence and good interpersonal skills.
  17. I often stumble to speak and write in English language.
  18. I have poor writing skills. My first 70 answers on Quora didn’t get a single upvote.


Life has thrown to me a challenge. I have several reasons to be depressed and frustrated. But, I don’t. I don’t care what the society thinks about me, my career, my appearance, my being a failure and so on. I am trying to break out of the cycle of depression, self-blame, meandering purposelessness and mediocrity by these ways-

  • First, we have to accept ourselves. Whatever you are, just accept it. I am a mediocre, people. I’ve accepted myself. Then, work hard to overcome the mediocrity. I am working hard to improve my condition.


  • Don’t be part of a rat race of life. Here, everyone wants to be winner. But people always forget that if you win this rat race, you will be trapped in this vicious circle of success. There will be lots of stress and unlimited expectations. So, find your passion and work on it. I have found my passion and working hard to achieve it.


  • Enhance your physical and mental capability to face the challenge of life. Do meditation, running and push-ups. Every morning, I do these things.


  • Do you know what is the secret of success? Don’t expect anything from life. Just do your activities sincerely and pretend that you don’t have right to get anything. Whatever, you get, consider it as a bonus. Life will be really easy. I strictly follow this principle in my life.


  • Don’t take life too seriously. You will be in deep trouble. I take the life as usual.


  • Try to be persistent with your hard work and time management. Life is not a movie and anything will not be changed overnight. Give continuous effort and do work hard. The situation will start to change gradually.


  • Always show gratitude to God about your situation. Millions of people are homeless and they don’t have food to eat. Always think about their condition. I feel blessed and show gratitude to God that my condition is way better than them.


  • Build powerful habit. 90%people don’t get rid of bad habits. They try to achieve success but they get failed again and again due to being persisted with bad habits. So, set your goal and do particular tasks everyday. It can be developing your maths skill, language skill or programming skill. Just spend 30–40 minutes everyday. It will turn into a habit. Your subconscious mind will work for it, you don’t need to do anything.


  • Help people. Whatever your condition is, always try to help people. It will give you self-confidence and self-satisfaction. I love to help.


  • Try to live in the present moment. Your past has already gone. Your future is waiting. You can not change these. You can only change the present moment by doing hard work. Therefore, I always focus on the present moment.


  • Take responsibility for your action. Self-blame is not a solution for any problem. We have to take responsibility for our own action. Then, find out the solutions to overcome the problem. I don’t give self blame and I take responsibility for my action and evaluate it.


  • Set your goal of life. Purposelessness is a dangerous thing which distracts your mind. Therefore, do meditation and try to think what you love to do. During meditation, your mind will be stable, highly focused and you will find out your purpose of life. But you have to meditation for 3 months regularly. Then, it will work.


  • Stands out among the crowd. Overcoming mediocrity is difficult but possible. Always try to stand out among the crowd by your innovative business ideas, hard work and unique qualities.


  • Don’t try to be jack of all trade. You should focus on only one particular subject and try to achieve world class expertise on that specific subject. It can be sports, theater, singing, playing instrument, writing, photography.


  • Life is full of endless opportunities. I can fail at exam, rejected by employers, fired from jobs, rejected by girls. Life is more than that of these failures. Lots of doors may be closed for me. But I believe that there are hundreds of doors which I can open and astonishing opportunities are waiting for me.


  • Self confidence and good interpersonal skill really works at tough situation. I do meditation, run, speak English with my friends to develop English language skill, practice public speaking in front of mirror, set small targets and try to achieve it, talk with strangers and make friendship, read self help book, observe behavior of successful people to achieve self confidence and interpersonal skill.


  • Create own method to solve for specific problem. I forget everything. That’s why I write down everything in my note book, give reminders in my cellphone and use sticky notes software in my laptop to remember specific deadlines for any task.


  • Only think about those things which are in your control. I don’t think about my height and directional dyslexia problem. It’s out of my control. I only focus on those activities which is in my control and help me to become a skilled and better person.


  • Do what you love. I love to write. But I know that I don’t have good writing skill. Moreover, I have lots of grammatical mistakes in my answers in quora. Still, I continue writing. I write to satisfy myself and get rid of my sufferings and pain.


  • Always try to be positive after several failures. American Industrialist and the founder of Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford has a nice quote about failure. When I fail at different situations of life, I just remember this quote “Failure is the opportunity to begin again with more intelligently.” I feel really motivated after remembering this quote and take preparation to start the next mission of my life.

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