You may be correct in how you have characterized yourself, but it’s also possible that your self-assessment is incorrect. Consider this statement for instance: “my whole life has been a social failure.” That is a wholesale condemnation of your ability to create a social life. That is your perspective, but as you noted in your letter, you are depressed and thus may be prone to filtering all aspects of yourself through the lens of negativity.
What would an objective assessment of your social life look like? Would it match yours? You could benefit from consulting a therapist. They can provide an objective opinion about circumstances regarding subjective matters. Would a therapist agree with your self-assessment?
People tend not to be objective about themselves. They often over or under emphasize certain traits and characteristics about themselves. There are a myriad of cognitive biases and distortions you can read about.
People with depression often have inaccurate views of themselves. They will often think negative things about themselves such as they’re no good, they’re unlovable, they’re complete failures, no one likes them, everyone else is doing better than they are, the list goes on. In short, they tend to see themselves as failures compared to everyone else. However, whenever you examine their lives, in more detail, you often find that they minimize the many good aspects of their lives and overemphasize any (perceived) negative aspects of their lives.
Some of the more common cognitive distortions associated with depression include catastrophizing (predicting that the worst will happen in every circumstance); all or nothing thinking, also known as black and white thinking (believing that only a very limited set of circumstances could occur in any given situation and ignoring all of the possible range of circumstances); overgeneralization (thinking that because something happened in one circumstance that it will automatically happen in all other circumstances); and mind reading (believing that you know what other people are thinking of you even though you have no evidence).
At the heart of it, cognitive distortions involve an individual filtering information through an inaccurate lens. Thus, if you’re using inaccurate information to make a determination, then it’s very likely that your conclusions will be incorrect.
Obviously, I don’t have enough information from your letter to judge whether or not your self-assessments are accurate but it does seem that you are harsh when it comes to yourself and your abilities.
The way you think about yourself also determines how you feel about yourself. If you judge yourself harshly, then emotionally, you’re going to feel bad. That is a very unpleasant way to live.
At this point, it seems that you need more information. You need to know if you are accurate in your self-judgments. It is important to know the truth.
My advice is to consult a therapist who will objectively examine your beliefs and determine their accuracy. Once you have accurate information, then you can act accordingly. Without the truth, you risk making decisions that may not be in your best interest.
It’s also possible to learn new and better social skills. You might choose a therapist who specializes in working with individuals with autistic disorders. Social skills training, cognitive enhancement therapy (CET), and related therapies can assist in developing those important skills.
You also mentioned that you have a passion in life but that you are not sure how to turn your interest into a reality. Therapy can help with this. Research would also help immensely. Research is often a very labor-intensive effort. It takes time, major effort and patience, but it’s well worth your time. You’d be surprised at how much information is available for those willing to search for it. Good luck and please take care. Thanks for your question.
Dr. Kristina Randle