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Summary of Question:Depression And Naive Parents
Date Posted:Saturday, 5/10/2008 1:12 AM MDT

I am a 22 year old college student, born to a Sikh family. I was a very confident, outgoing, and overall happy person until the past 2 years. My downward spiral towards this state of depression was catalyzed by a series of failures and my mother and brother's unrelenting belittling. It started when I did not get into the medical program my parents intended me to get in to. I had a very high GPA but I did not want to be doctor. My mother has continually criticized me for this the past 2 year for not getting into the program, calling me a failure, a loser, and a shame to the family. My mom and my brother constantly make fun of me, criticize me, and belittle me, and it hurts my feelings tremendously. I have read online the symptoms of depression and I fit almost every symptom, but I have no one to turn to. If I tell my mother she will simply say that I'm making excuses and I should just focus on my studies. The depression has caused a steep decrease in my grades which in turn brings upon even more family criticism. This cycle has simply broken my will and everyday seems so hopeless. I have no access to a Gurdwara. Who do I turn to, what should I do?

(Reply) Sat Nam. Truth IS YOUR IDENTITY! It is such a shame that your mother and brother are trying to make your life miserable because you don't fit in with their idea of what you should be or do. It just breaks my heart to read of such treatment that seems to occur over and over in what claim to be Sikh families. Three things I would suggest to you, 1) read Jaap Sahib as often as you can, and call on Guru Gobind Singh to give you the courage of your convictions! 2) Find a College counselor and explain your situation. Even the head of the deparment of your field of study should be able to direct you to someone who can help. Usually there is someone on the faculty whose job it is to encourage and advise students. 3) Spend a few minutes every morning, before you start your day, simply sitting quietly and meditating on your breath, thinking SAT as you inhale, and NAM as you exhale -- watching and being aware of the breath as a GIFT that God is giving you many times every minute --- andd remember that God does live and breathe in you and you have a right to be happy in experiencing life in this human form! Your soul is working out karma (just as we all are!) and so when your mom or your brother torment you, just bless them, and realize they are WRONG! Your need to have the guts to stand up to them and say, with all due respect that you appreciate their viewpoint, but you have your own identity, and must be who you are, not some thing else. And then bless them and walk away. Stand up for yourself! Be a son of Guru Gobind Singh -- strong as steel, steady as stone, and pray for strength and guidance. There are also many, many people who offer prayers to Guru RAm Das, the Lord of Miracles. Though you may not have a Gurdwara nearby, you can read Siri Guru Granth SAhib on SikhNet, and you can read your banis either on line or in a Gutka. There is power in Guru's bani. May God bless you and Guru guide you on the best path for you to fulfill your own highest destiny (not someone else's idea of what that might be!) SP

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