I graduated in 2008 with an EE degree and entered grad school immediately after. I excelled and did ok in my classes and research but I knew I wasn’t doing as well as I could have been doing (got a couple B minuses too). At the end of the first year I started getting paranoid that I was going to lose my funding because I wasn’t doing a good enough job (imposter syndrome). I also started thinking some rumors were being spread around about me, some of which I still think were. I asked a girl out in my research group and I asked her not to tell anyone in the group that I asked after she turned me down (she had a bf but I think she still liked me…). She went around telling people I asked her out because I could hear the other group members talking about it. When I confronted her about it she denied it. The others in the group also found some personal posts I posted on a forum because I heard them talking about it behind my back. I think they went through my browser history on my laptop. They also started saying that they didn’t think I deserved to have my name on the publications and whatnot. I also won first place in a national competition but most of the work was done by the others in the group. I just wrote the conference paper and gave the presentation and then I was given all the credit for winning. I ended up in a mental hospital over my paranoia and I heard even the doctors and nurses talking about me and the rumors that were being spread. I heard them telling my professor that the brain scans showed low activity and she told the others in the group this. I can’t believe she would have talked about this to the others in the group. It pisses me off to this day. Then all the group members visited me in the mental hospital. At first I wanted them to visit but then I told them to stop coming in because it was embarrassing me. They kept coming anyways, which annoyed me. I ended up dropping out of grad school shortly after because the rumors continued (some I admit were true but embarrassing). I spent the next year of my life locked in my room freaking out since getting my PhD was such a huge goal of mine for so long. I could not find a job anywhere. Most hiring managers were skeptical because I dropped out. I went back again (to the same school) in a different research group. I couldn’t understand the work the group was doing and sunk in a deep depression. I ended up dropping out again. When I came home this time I found a low paying job as a process operator in a semiconductor company that was very boring. This job drove me nuts because I sat around most of the time with nothing to do waiting for processes to finish. I went back to the grad school I came from for a third time and found the same fate. This time I couldn’t handle the classes because I got severely depressed. I ended up dropping out again. I should have stayed at this job because my boss said he’d write me a letter of recommendation to get admitted to a much more prestigious school in my state for my PhD (his brother was the dept chair and his thesis advisor was on the board of directors of the company I was working for). After leaving school for the third time I found an EE position at a new company. This job was also very repetitive and boring and I could feel my brain deteriorating from lack of use. I found a new job shortly after that I am currently at. My boss just tells me vague things like “go invent a new product for us” and gives me little other direction. I spend most of my days browsing the internet secretly and generally avoiding all the people there. I want to quit this job and find a new one but I think I should keep the job until I find something else. I feel like I should have stuck with grad school the first time. I imagine that I would have been successful and that I would have eventually got that girl in my group (she has since found a new bf I believe). Now I am a loser and I just want to die. I have friends but none of them call me on the weekends. I have considered going for a teaching certificate and becoming a hs physics teacher. I really enjoyed tutoring as an undergrad, especially the hs students. I think I would really love teaching. But I can’t afford to go back to school and I don’t want to take out more loans (I already have 50K in loans) as it would be impossible to live on a teacher’s salary with so many loans. Despite how the research group treated me in grad school I still miss the people there. I think I could have done well in the group had I stayed. There were also attractive girls at the university and I could feel that they were interested in me because I felt attractive and fit at the time. Now I am fat and feel ugly. Now most girls just give me dirty looks. What should I do PF? Should I become a hs teacher? Should I look for a new job? I am on antipsychotics and andti-depressants. I have tried therapy. Nothing works. Nothing.