I am in the fifth year of my PhD and seriously depressed. In my first year of graduate school I was not funded. In my desperation for funding I chose an opportunity that came my way even though I did not like the topic. The research I would say is pretty mundane, I was providing experimental support for an FEM group. I did t have any freedom until the end of my 4th year. Also my advisor was the co-PI and the project was not in his area of expertise and he had no clue about the work being done. Whenever I get lost and ask him for advice, he would commonly uses the phrase “Do what the industry sponsor wants, keep him happy ”. I literally felt like a contract employee and not a PhD researcher. As expected the work did not yield any papers. My lab mates working on other topics (areas of my advisors expertise) get to present at academic conferences and are writing journals. When I point out this fact I get chided for comparing myself with others and that my work is “unique”. At one point my advisor himself said that the project was ill conceived. You can understand my frustration.
Now I am depressed, lost, and hardly do anything. I wake up, go to the lab and pass time. I absolutely hate my “thesis”, I don’t have anything meaningful or useful for my future career. I don’t even know the purpose of my thesis topic. initially I was scared to leave, now I feel it is too late to leave.
please advise me on what to do? Thanks.