This metaphor is taken from a special edition episode of The OCD Stories featuring Dr Alec Pollard who shares his view of the futility and pointlessness of compulsions. He says, “The joke, I tell sometimes to illustrate this is, the guy’s sitting in his backyard with a lawn chair, he happens to live in Kenosha. And he’s sitting there with this giant elephant gun and his neighbour goes, “hey, Jim, what the heck you doing?”. He says, “I’m keeping the elephants away.” His (neighbour) said, “there’s no elephants in Kenosha.” He (Jim) said, “yeah, see how good it works.” More of the point that this man believes that his safety behaviour, his compulsion, having the gun out is what’s keeping the elephants away. And he’ll believe that until the day he dies, unless he puts the gun away and sees what happens. You can find out that the elephants don’t come, whether you have a gun there or not.”
Hope that helps.
Illustration by https://namiralph.com/
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