I'm a phd student in mathematics in US. Basically, I worked hard throughout the first two years because of the qualifying exam. After that, I kind of lost steam when I was supposed to start doing actual research and slacked off for my 3rd year (I was also dealing with anxiety and depression issues at the time). I finally managed to pull myself together after my 4th year and the first semester mostly goes to learning just the introductory literature---I'm in algebraic geometry so the learning curve is deep. I had almost nothing going on in terms of original research. At this point, I have technically a year left before I need to submit my thesis for graduation. My program does not allow extension beyond the 5th year and due to my visa status it is not possible for me to pause my study.
My advisor has always been hands-off to the point where we rarely talks. Last week, when I finally saw him, he told me he has no suitable problem for me at this point given my level of study. Instead, he referred me to a couple papers to read first. I can't even understand the main problem those papers are studying and I feel it may take me years to read them. So I brought up the time constraint to my advisor. His answer is basically that he's not sure what I should do and said it is up to me if I want to try to finish. So it comes down to finishing my phd in a year, or drop out outright. Do you have experience with similar situation? What should I do.