Everyone has these thoughts, literally everyone. however people without OCD can let it pass as some silly thought that has entered their mind. what we do, people with OCD, we see the tiniest or most ridiculous threat which would never happen, and amplify it.
We interpret it as a major threat which makes us feel horribly responsible. this feeds our safety behaviours and anxiety, which circles back and feeds the thought which we continue to interpret as a threat. it’s a vicious circle, and the main problem is that our OCD makes us interpret these thoughts as major threats.
It makes us believe we can do horrible things or that horrible things will happen
Because we have this feeling of ‘evidence’ that doing our safety behaviours results in the bad thing not happening, we believe that we have stopped it, no matter how ridiculous and irrational it may seem.
This gives us temporary relief from anxiety but its is only temporary and sky rockets again, looping like our behaviours end up doing, and amplifying the anxiety.
For example, there is a man on a train, he rips up paper and throws it out of the window to keep the tigers away from the train. He therefore believes what he is doing (a safety behaviour) is keeping the tigers (a thought interpreted as a real threat) away. Only if he were to stop the paper ripping, would he learn that there are no tigers, and therefore no threat.
Whilst that is extremely easy to say, its very, very hard for someone with OCD to do, but understanding is the first step to recovery.