I'm over half way into my PhD in psychology and neuroscience in the UK. I think that leaving the programme is the best decision but I'm unsure whether my reasons are good enough. I have gained some valuable experience: computer programming, applying basic mathematics, addressing software and hardware issues etc.
I approached my supervisor and the director of research 4 months ago about quitting and I was encouraged to continue, but these 4 big issues with the project have persisted, which are sufficient to make me think quitting the programme is the right decision:
1) Before starting, I was not aware how involved the post-doc would be in my project, who is overbearing and has been very difficult to work with from the very beginning. The post-doc is more concerned about being right and getting his own way than being helpful. This hinders my progress because I have to wrestle with what their idea of what my PhD should be. If I had known this, I would not have applied for this PhD. However, I think it's too late to point out this problem and my supervisor would probably think I'm using it as a scapegoat for my own problems. For now, I'm treating it as a 'training exercise' because you can never choose your colleagues in the real world - but this is a bad reason for staying on with a PhD.
2) My passion for the subject is gone and I have no intention of carrying on in academia afterwards. I don't think my PhD has a use in the real world, so I will definitely be applying for jobs in in the real world. However, if I quit prospective employers will think I'm 'a quitter' and will be put off employing me, but carrying on comes at the expense of experience in the real world, which I think is more valuable.
3) I have found the PhD experience very alienating and I find what I do for a living embarrassing. I'm reluctant to talk to new people because what you do for a living inevitably comes up and I like to avoid talking about it.
4) There is a some mathematics that I have to teach myself (I'm ok with this in principle), with no support from the department, leading to uncertainty as to whether I'm doing it right or whether I'm qualified enough for my position. This combined with reason 1 is slowing down my progress and I'm afraid I won't get enough done and fail the programme.
Do these reasons seem sufficient or should I bite the bullet and carry on?