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I'm a first year PhD student (computer science), and I've felt that I lost this year up to now due to some life difficulties. I'm getting no financial support and I was forced to teach to get some money and pay my expenses. I have another personal problems that took me to a state of depression, where I've spent some months completely stuck in my work.
I want to "be back on the rails" and continue to work on this, but I'm feeling lost. I need to go back to the very beginning and find what a PhD is, and what I must do to advance the state of art with my current (weak) capabilities. At the same time I must to show some results to my advisor with what I already have in my hands.
I know that my "question" is pretty obscure, but I need some advices on how to proceed, from people with some experience in this situation. How can I overcome depression and 'get back on the rails' with my PhD?
Some years later I finally got my PhD. I cannot believe I made it. At the time that I wrote this post it seemed utterly impossible to achieve this. If you are in the middle of a PhD you may try to endure and fight until the end. But if you are wondering about starting a PhD, please make sure YOU ABSOLUTELY LOVE your topic, otherwise you'll end like me when I wrote this. I didn't like my research area and the topic I choose. Everything else seemed to be way more interesting. I wanted to do everything instead of reading papers and conducting my own research. I felt unproductive and useless, and at some point my advisor started to complain about my lack of results. It was my fault since the beginning since I didn't followed a research area that I could have joy with it. I should have choose something that matched my abilities and preferences, for instance, I'm pretty good with programming, but my math skills aren't great, and yet I tried to enter a field that is dominated by math and advanced statistics. I couldn't do what I do the best, neither I was able to catch up with the involved math.