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How can I overcome the feeling of a loser?

Q: I am a 22 years old male, finished my graduation two years back with 40% marks and did a computer course with almost same grades. I was searching for a job but could not find one. I feel like changing my field to arts as I have a good hand at drawing and it interests me too. But I always remain confused. I want to do something for my parents, make them proud, but I am a loser. I often think about dying and am not able to analyse myself. People tell me I am a loser and wasting my parent’s money by doing nothing. It kills me from inside. Is finishing the life only way to overcome this? I have taken a career aptitude test and it showed my interest in arts and creativity. Please help.

A:I understand that you are going through a phase of distress. What seems to be contributing to the distress is not just the ambivalence with regard to career, but also the comparisons with others and the perceived stress with regard to fulfilling dreams of your parents. Remember your true competition is with your own self and not with others. A lot depends as to how you define success for yourself. We usually tend to outshine in spheres that are linked to our interests, provided we put the right efforts in those. Knowledge never goes waste. Given your aptitude in arts and drawing and your degree in Commerce, rather than seeing these as divergent, you should try to converge the two. Why can't you use your knowledge in commerce and computers to set up a business with regard to arts? But before that try to look for learning avenues with regard to arts. Try and visit art exhibitions, look for on-line information re: the same. Animation courses are also an option. Then consider joining an appropriate course that focuses on practical skills of arts. Don't get let down. You are just 22 yrs old. Don't be in a rush to run after others in despair. Define your goals carefully: be somewhat guided by your instincts and interests rather than totally being guided by what others feel or your friends are doing. No matter what you choose as a goal, remain focussed, avoid negative comparisons, try to gain needful skills in the process, and irrespective of your pace you shall be able to reach your goal.

I get a feel that at this point you are somewhat depressed and thinking negatively about yourself and future. You are quite precious to your parents irrespective of your career. Learn to respect yourself. Try positive self talk, plan some of your activities for the day (set achievable targets and aims), also take out some time for relaxation, meditation and engaging in positive talks with your family. If all this does not help you, please do not hesitate in visiting a psychiatrist, for depression is treatable.

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