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I need help

NothingliveshereNothingliveshere Registered User regular
edited June 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
This is kind of a longish story, essentially I have had several massive setbacks and I am unsure how to move forward. Lets start, All my life I have wanted to be one thing, and that is a Researcher in Molecular Genetics. I worked long and hard torwards my goal (Im not the smartest bear so to speak all I really had going for me was tenacity). I had finally after a long long time gotten to the point of getting into a PhD program and that is where my life went downhill. I lost all but 2 of my family (both extended and immediate) due to a series of sudden health issues (heart attacks, canceer) all within 6 months of each other (all told 8 in total) and not all of them were old (one was 32) or in ill health. About 6 months before all this happened I shattered my right leg and that was a massively painful road of recovery during which I didnt stop my uni study (couldnt do experiements thou).

Then my supervisor in my PhD quits science because he was forced to or he would face charges from the co-worker whose door he showed up on at 3 am in the morning drunk and stupid. This resulted in my Laboratory getting shutdown, me having no supervisor nor a place to work. All this led to me essentially having a massive attack of depression, of which I was diagnosed with clinincally, Leading to me having to suspend my PhD due to my depression. It took me a long time to recover, by which time 2 years had passed. I have since returned to my PhD but due to a lack of data (because of my asshole supervisor, bad luck with negative experiments and having to take time off due to depression) I have not enough to write up for a PhD, and its debetable if I have enough to submit for any re-cognition. University (in Australia) has essentially said thems the breaks mate nothing they can do.

My whole life was leading towards getting this, it was the only thing I ever wanted and absoutely everything that could go wrong in my life at the time when I needed to focus did go wrong. Ontop of this, I am not what you call appearling to the opposite sex, I have a mutation in my dna causing my skin to looking like a healed severe burn victum as far as I know (according to my specialst) I am the only one with this mutation. Ive always had it and its gotten worse with age (im 34 years old now), pretty much meaning the only time a women touches me is when I use a escort service (legal in Australia).

This mutation also had a effect on my metabolism in a way so far not understood yet, resulting in myself been over wieght and making it hard to lose weight(I should point I have shead a significant amount of wieght but im still over wieght). Ive spoken to psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, mental health crisis teams, nothing helps.

Alll I had was my mind and my love of science but life took that away as well, the only other thing I wanted was some one else. I am aware I am opening myself up to ridiculue here but its not like that hasnt happened before. I am broken now, I am not getting my PhD no matter what I do, I failed at it, I tried but couldnt cope with what life did to me during my PhD. I still have a chance to write somthing up but have been told there is no chance of a PhD nor and only a slight chance of anything else (masters, honours). I am at the end of my rope. I needed to tell some one (I have people who I know but I am unable to talk to them) even if it just was a faceless forum. essentially I have no idea what to do now, I am in a lot of pain now and have no idea how to make it stop. Can anyone help? I really really dont know what to do.

Nothingliveshere on


  • DusT_HounDDusT_HounD Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Hrm, on the PhD front, if you could write up what you have as a masters, it would be great- i know you said there's very little chance, but if you don't try, there's no chance, amirite?

    The worst thing you can do now is to walk away. The best thing you can do is walk away, towards something.

    If you want to have another crack at a PhD, you have a strong case as to why this one didn't go as planned, so why not put it on the low-gas for the moment- get a research assistant job, take a couple of years to prove you're capable, as well as making good contacts in the department where you work. Many places (not sure about Oz, but definitely UK and Ireland) have groups where RAs regularly get transferred onto PhD programs. Furthermore, the publication output whilst doing their work as RAs gives them excellent material for their thesis.

    Chin up- once you get over this depressing period, you'll inevitably get back on the horse and have another try. That's the scientists' way.

    Women-wise, i can't help you, sorry. I can't even get a date.

    DusT_HounD on
  • Hardleft_335Hardleft_335 Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Could you look into research positions at universities in other countries? You could possibly land a job somewhere where people with your level of education are scarce. All you need is a chance to get bak into a program and you can start your Ph.D. again. You have a leg up on the competition because you have so much experience already.

    Alternatively, you have had a very interesting life up to this point. You have shown that you can get your shit together when faced with some incredibly difficult challenges. You could write a book about what has happened and how you have dealt with it all. You could give motivational speaking a try. Hell, go on Oprah.

    If your appearance cant be helped, then you have to try to make friends/meet ladies outside of the normal situations. Try volunteering for a hospital or a charity or something. People will see through the scars after they get to know you. It will happen, you just have to be out there meeting people.

    Lastly, it sounds like you need to talk to a therapist. Find someone that you like and just go every week. Use some of that tenacity again to pick yourself back up and continue your life.

    Is there a part of you that feels a little bit freed by what has happened? You have the opportunity to remake yourself! You are out of the crappy Ph.D. program, you are coming back from depression. Now is the point in your life where you can reinvent yourself as whatever you want. Ever have an interest in surfing? How about teaching? Go be a bouncer at some seedy club. Tell some random people your scars are from saving your sister from a housefire.

    Hardleft_335 on
  • NothingliveshereNothingliveshere Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I apprecaite both responses, hardleft_335, what you said strikes a cord with me I will have to really think about it. I have a horrible feeling with uni shrinks (and free goverment ones) I havent used a private service, I guess I can look into that.

    Again thank you for your help Its late I must sleep now, night all.

    Nothingliveshere on
  • Hardleft_335Hardleft_335 Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I'm glad to help. One other thing - ever think about acting? It would be interesting to see if there is a market for someone with lots of scars. The roles might be kind of insulting, but it could be fun. Get paid money to be a zombie in the next Romero film or something.

    The world is basically open to you in a lot of ways. I'm just trying to think of ways for you to turn these unfortunate things into strengths. That guy who plays mini-me probably hated his dwarfism until it made him a movie star. Or that guy Seal, who is married to one of the most attractive women in the world. You have an education, a clean slate, and a truly unique existence. That's kind of amazing.

    Hardleft_335 on
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