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Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  MD Psychiatry
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Please help me. Do I have OCD or a Reason to want this couch

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Please help me. Do I have OCD or a Reason to want this couch back????
I cannot figure out my true feelings about this. I want to know if I want this couch, because I truly want it/and have a real reason to want it back, or because I have ocd about it. My family had this big orange couch when I was a baby. Most of my baby pictures have that couch in it, people held me while sitting on the couch, my toddler pictures are near the couch. I did flips on the cushions. I have nostalgic memories. I am not a hoarder, but do get attached to stuff once in a while. I have a highly sensitive personality. I have been strengthening my muscles on getting rid of stuff over the years. I have improved so much and feel like mentally I have been becoming stronger this last year. My mom told me she was going to be cleaning out. I told her I do not want to get rid of two floral couches. She agreed. I never said anything about the orange couch. I still can't figure out why I didn't speak up when I had the chance, because I could've told her it REALLY bothered me then, but it was just festering. I wasn't REALLY bothered by the thought of getting rid of it in the beginning, but I think my subconscious was, and I wasn't aware of it yet. I did ask her if she was getting rid of the orange couch, and she was very demanding in her yes. I didn't say much back, but I told her that I am getting better at getting rid of stuff, but JUST DON'T PUSH MY LIMITS. That's all I ask of you. I take steps back in my personal growth if my limits are pushed. I feel like I am consistently climbing stairs but if something that pushes my limits gets thrown at me, I go back down the stairs a ways. I didn't want that to happen, but it did. I didn't really say that I wanted that couch, but over the next 24 hrs. I started getting ocd thoughts about why the orange couch was important to me and it was driving me nuts.
It felt like obsessive little voices talking to me like, "your baby pictures are ruined because of the loss of this couch will remind you when you look at them, you're never going to feel the same, this will hijack your mind, you will take 10 steps back in your mental health you built on this past year and now you'll have to start from scratch, my favorite show is Friends, and the couch looks identical, it would be a cool family photoshoot, why don't we just get rid of everything then?, I wish someone could understand my feelings, why am I being tormented, it is just sitting in the shed, we have other things down there, what's the harm of it being there if it helps me feel secure?, shut up brain, why can't I be normal, maybe I have legitimate reasons to still want this? ugh!" etc, etc, all in like 5 minutes time over and over.
My parents got it out and almost ready to load. I told my mom inside that I have been feelings about getting rid of it. I told her I was having ocd thoughts and it was really bothering me to get rid of it. She said it was too late. I heard her say to my dad, "She wants to keep the couch" thinking there was some hope, but they loaded it up. I got so overwhelmed that I started crying and ran outside saying, "you're really getting rid of it?" I wish I talked in a better manner, but I mostly just said, "you don't know what it's like to have ocd or to be attached to things! You and dad do not know what it feels like to have my brain. You don't even try to put yourself in my shoes." My mom and dad don't have sensitive emotions at all. Complete opposite of me. They just stared at me and it HURT! They got rid of it. We store a lot of stuff anyway, what's it going to hurt to store the couch?
It also hurt that I felt disrespected in that they just stared at me blankly. I want to feel empathized with and understood and loved. So, that incident right there made it worse. It has been a few days and my thoughts have not backed down. I told my mom who is my best friend that I am having mind problems about this. She said some really nice things in the beginning that helped me but yesterday She was rude and got mad at me saying it's just a stupid couch and you keep bringing it up.
It's not my fault. I think it is bothering me that my dad dumped it in his junk pile that is over in the field a few miles away. I keep telling myself that I want someone to go get it and bring it back. Would you recommend this thought or should I let it go? Should I try to get it back?
Do I have OCD or something else? I know I have OCD about the situation, but I feel like OCD thoughts flair up when I feel my environment or my self worth is threatened. I think that happened and now I have OCD thoughts. But at the basis, is it okay to just want to keep the couch that was sitting in the playhouse shed? Is that normal or do you think I'm just ocd. I'm very in touch with my emotions and analyze a lot. I want to understand myself. I am very aware and very into self help. I have a deep desire to understand my thoughts about this. I cannot understand myself
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Linda D. replied 6 months ago.
Hello Emily, my name is ***** ***** I am a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in New York State. I am here to help you. Please give me a moment to read through what you have written and I will respond shortly. Sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC
Expert:  Linda D. replied 6 months ago.
Dear *****, thank you for being so thorough in your description of what you have been experiencing regarding your couch from your childhood. In this situation you do not meet the diagnosis of OCD. Yes, obsessions involve intrusive thoughts that continually reoccur that simply will not go away. It is not uncommon for individuals to have persistent disturbing thoughts from time to time, however a person with OCD cannot escape their thoughts no matter how hard they try. These recurring thoughts are so severe that they can debilitate someone with OCD. this can be true in your situation, because of your thoughts about wanting this couch. The other half of OCD are the compulsions. Compulsions are behaviors that individuals with obsessions display in order to relieve themselves of their anxiety. Something you MUST do to make the obsessive thoughts stop. With OCD, the compulsive behavior is directly related to the excessive thought. When there is not a physical behavior associated with an obsession, you would not be diagnosed with OCD. There is some type of compulsive behavior that accompanies the obsession in individuals who receive this diagnosis. does this make sense? I will share more thoughts in the next text of what might be happening to you.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 6 months ago.
As you said, you are a very sensitive person and quite self aware and insightful. It also sounds like you suffer from a great deal of anxiety and distress. It sounds like the couch represented comfort to you, stability, permanence. do not feel they receive the level of support, understanding and acceptance from their parents that they need. And yet, they also do not know how to ask for what they need emotionally. You expressed not being able to express your need for the couch but I can't help believe that is symbolic for a mush deeper need you are having a hard time expressing. I am sorry your parents were not more empathetic for what you were going through, but they may just see you as over emotional. Does this make sense to you Emily? I look forward to hearing from you. Linda
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for your response. I have these intrusive thought problems when I get severely stressed and I always thought it was ocd. They come every few years and go away depending on how I deal with my stressors. If it's not ocd thoughts, what would it be? The thoughts feel like the devil hijacked my brain and whispers negative things when it's actually my own thoughts. I can't watch the news or read bad stories because my brain won't stop thinking about what I saw. So now, my brain just won't stop thinking about the couch. When I can't understand my feelings, the thoughts become stronger.Also, so do I have a real reason to want the couch and therefore should I try to get the couch back or would you not advise that because you said it was a symbol of a deeper emotion? I just want to know if I should try to get it back somehow, and if not, I need to tell my brain why, and how should I deal with the loss? My brain tells me that I can't stop thinking about it and the only way my brain knows how to resolve the issue is to bring it back. I'm so confused on how to move forward.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 6 months ago.
A couple of things Emily. Have you developed a relationship with a therapist who could help you start to manage what really appears to be very high levels of anxiety. It would also be really amazingly helpful if you developed a meditation practice to slow down your thoughts and learn to manage them. As far as the couch goes, I personally think you should try to retrieve it if it is possible, because it is something that has a lot of meaning and emotional attachment for you. Owning the couch does not cause any harm to you or anyone else, so yes. However, if it is not possible to get it back then it is best to accept that this is the reality and work on letting it go. There is a simple exercise that you can do to help you...........breathe in deeply through your nose while saying I breathe in calm................and while breathing out of your mouth say...................I breathe out worry (or negative thoughts, or thinking about the couch, etc.) Do this 3-5 times in a quiet place. let me know if I can help you any further Emily and please take a moment to rate my service to you. I am here for you if you need me. Sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My mom gets really mad at me when I asked if we could get it back. I am very open and emotional with my mom and tell her everything. I feel like you are right about having high anxiety that I'm sort of unaware that I have. I feel like this couch thing was too much, it pushed my limits, the one thing I asked my mom not to do. She did let me keep a cushion and the other two couches, but I still can't get over this. I highly doubt my dad will go get it even though it is somewhere close in a field as we live in the country. Since my mom says she's on my team, I get resentful that I can't get it back, I feel like if I had it back, it would ease my mind, not do any harm, and I could work on the anxiety I have anyway. The couch just made it worse. My mom will be like, "I. SAID. NO." Like I'm two years old, but in reality I am a very self aware individual. Not some crying little kid. I just wish my parents would empathize with me instead of seeing the world from their point of view. That makes me feel upset. I don't know why I have gotten so obsessed with a couch. It makes me feel crazy. Is there anything I could say that would change their mind to bring it back?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My mom interprets my thoughts as though I'm trying to cause trouble and control people when all Im trying to do is help myself in the only way I know how. Nothing hurts me more than misunderstanding towards my anxiety that I have a hard time working through.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 6 months ago.
I know this must be really hard for you to feel this way. But your feelings are important and they do matter. I can't tell you the best way to express this to your parents because I don't know them. A therapist could help you to learn how to communicate what you need better. Is this something you think you can do? i think your obsession with getting the couch back is related to deeper conflict you have with your parents.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
One of the main reasons I'm on here is because I cannot differentiate if I truly want and need the couch back or my obsessive thoughts and deep anxiety is fueling my obsession over it, thinking I want it back. So maybe I want it back or maybe my mind tells me I want it back, but the truth is that I don't. I just cannot figure out if I truly care and want the couch back or not. I analyze everything, and this is one situation, I cannot read my own mind. It is confusing me so badly. The couch was down in this little playhouse shed and I haven't been in there in years. If they took it without telling me, there's a chance I'd never know. The playhouse had mice in it, the couch is dirty, but yet we kept other little couches in there currently. I just can't come to a solution standpoint. If I lived alone, I'd have the couch back, I'd see if that helped calm me down, and maybe eventually I'd get rid of it but right now, I personally would get it back because I'm not used to my mind acting this way. Thank you for telling me that my feelings are important and matter. I'm such a sensitive person and I constantly feel like I have sensitivities in that area because I have been ignored and rejected badly from friends in the past. I feel like current events triggers those feelings of the past. I compare my parents to those friends when they say rude things to me. Even though I do have the best parents in the world, The only fault they would have is not having an emotion of sensitivity that I have. I have no one to connect with on my emotional level that I know. My dad is nice, but I always think he doesn't have emotions at all. My mom told me that she thinks my anxiety about the couch is from an unrelated worry about something else that I have attached to the couch. Do I want the couch or not? I cannot figure it out.
Expert:  Linda D. replied 6 months ago.
There is not a right or wrong decision to make regarding the couch, but there is a decision to be made. And once you make it, then the need to accept your decision and move forward. I can tell you are very capable and I know you can do this. Linda
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The answer is no from my mom, and I don't know how to deal with that answer. Like, I can't let it go. I want to be attune with myself, but I can't let it go and it is bothering my everyday life.
Expert:  Dr. Kaushik replied 6 months ago.
Greetings. Welcome to the site. I am a psychiatrist and I will like to help. Kindly please tell me have you ever been so obsessed with the couch before when it was lying as a shear piece of furniture and not as a symbolic representation of your good old days that you have spent on and around it back in the day ?Why do you not concentrate on other symbolic representations of your childhood memories other than this couch. Have you given a thought to divert your energy and focus on some other things that are there in house which are equally if not more associated with memories of past ?Kindly answer these two queries and I shall get back to you with my final answer. Regards
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I have never been obsessed with the couch before to my conscious knowledge. Usually when I need to get rid of something, I always think of a memory I had with that item. If the memory was too strong and meaningful to handle, then I don't want to get rid of it. It was taken away from me without my approval, even though they knew I was having issues with it so that hurt on top of the pain of getting rid of it. I never thought of the couch much, because I didn't have to get rid of it so I've never been obsessed with it.It's just the one thing that is always in the background in my pictures and videos when I was a baby and a toddler. I still live in the same house but all of my cutest photos are sitting on that couch. I just can't seem to let go of that and am starting to feel resentful that my parents won't bring it back just so I can calm my mind down. I just wish I could get it back so I could see if it would help my obsessive thoughts. I feel like it won't go away unless I got it back and I'm resentful that my parents won't do that for me also. So, I just can't think of other things to divert my energy. It's hard to think of something when I'm so obsessed with this current situation. Thanks.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Also, it's taking ahold of so much of my thoughts that my happiness in general has shifted. When, I'm normally excited and content waking up in he morning, I feel stressed now and like I can't wait to go back to sleep tonight so I don't have to think about it. It's severly affecting me. My mom told me last night that I have a completely different brain emotionally than her so she can't connect on my level. I have high sensitivity and high empathy levels that doesn't match who I live with and know.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My mom says we can't get it back because it is dirty, were never going to use it, it's huge, and we don't keep things from childhood when their so big, dirty, and that were never going to use. Does this make since or do you hi k I should be able to get it back to save my sanity?
Expert:  Dr. Kaushik replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for the inputs.Well, I can see and understand that you are a highly emotional individual and you see things beyond their sole purpose in life and associate your emotional memories with those things and this is hard to be perceived by others including your mother and hence their occurs a difference in opinion. Well, being emotional and sensitive are good qualities but they are good until they allow you to live life peacefully and do not create problems in day to day routine life, what is happening here is that you unintentionally have become a slave of your own emotions and they are trying to compel you to defy logic and sensible reasoning. What your mother is trying to do here is to reason out with you that the space is needed which has been occupied by the couch which has not been of any use lately and has been sitting idle in one corner , basically getting wasted. It is valuable for her that you have your past emotional memories attached to the couch but in life change is inevitable and with change one needs to learn to let go of things of past and bring in some new things which will only help to forge new relationships and form new memories. You are so much overwhelmed by your own emotions that you are not allowing yourself to see logic in her decision and also not letting yourself to evolve because changes in one''s surroundings are a part of life cycle and one needs to learn to be a part of the change rather than act as an obstacle in its path, this will, only hurt you emotionally and drain you unnecessarily.You see emotional memories need to be stored in one's mind and they do not need a reference point like a couch to be visited every now and then, by doing away with the couch no one is tampering with your emotional memories which have been associated with the couch but this is merely a practical decision to allow one to have more space to breath and live. So please do not take this as an insult to your emotions but consider it as an inevitable change required in life , this will enable you to learn to adapt better.I hope this makes sense to you and you try to find some valid points in my answer, so try to introspect without being a slave of your emotions but introspect without any bias and with full objective reasoning, you will then come to realise that to part with the couch was a reasonable decision .Wish you all the best.Please kindly leave a POSITIVE RATING if you are satisfied with the answer.Regards

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