I am a 23-year-old girl, an introvert and silent by nature. I am the second of four children. My elder brother is married and my younger sister is engaged to a man of her choice. My parents were concerned about my younger brother's engagement instead of mine and he also found someone. I have not found someone for myself nor have I got a good proposal like my parents want. I was waiting for the right time but my relatives and community created serious problems.

I find it painful that they laugh at me. They made me think I am worthless and defective. They even told me that my mother doesn't love me like she does my other siblings. I couldn't bear those words. These words push me to commit suicide or do something wrong to myself. I started believing that, perhaps, these people are right. Gradually, I reduced my socialising, but I am still failing day by day. Due to stress, I am suffering health issues. I told my parents that people are talking about me but they say they are waiting for the right proposal for me.

I don't have a trusted friend I can share this with. I am just killing myself inside. I am totally disturbed. I am unable to concentrate on my studies. I have gone quiet and everyone is ignoring me. Please help.

Feeling Helpless

'I feel worthless and want to harm myself'

Dear Feeling Helpless

Thank you for writing in. You are a smart woman who realises she needs help. And by doing this you are helping others who may be in a similar situation.

You are going through emotional pain because your siblings and others your age have found partners and you haven't, which is making you feel stuck. Each of us reacts differently to such feelings and has different coping abilities. The first thing you should do is to tell your parents and siblings immediately that you are having these thoughts. If you have a counsellor in your college, please seek an appointment urgently. If you have access to a therapist, start professional therapy straightaway. And that social circle that you dropped out of? Please start connecting with them again. Most people are a message away. Call them and, ideally, meet them face to face...

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