Many have diagnosed the main character in "Black Swan" with OCD.Fox Searchlight

If you happen to keep a tidy desk or living space, do people call these tendencies "so OCD?"

I've heard that phrase used to explain everything from using Lysol in a sick room to putting labels on file folders. As far as disorders are concerned, obsessive-compulsive disorder is often mischaracterized. But not everyone with OCD washes their hands raw or worries excessively about germs — although some do. The fact is, many of the myths about OCD aren't totally off-base, but they grossly oversimplify a complex and sometimes devastating condition.  

In general, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) involves a pattern - of irrational thoughts and fears that often trigger compulsive behaviors, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fears of contamination, unwanted thoughts about violence or aggression, and an overwhelming need for order are common themes to the obsessive thoughts. The condition can range from mild to severe, and it can last the entirety of a person's life. It's about much more than a tendency toward neatness or a desire for perfectionism.

To learn more about the reality of OCD, INSIDER reached out to two experts on the subject.  Barbara Markway a psychologist - and author of several books on anxiety disorders, including Dying of Embarrassment: - Help for Social Anxiety and Phobia. She also blogs at Psychology Today. Seth J. Gillihan maintains a clinical practice in Haverford, PA, and he also blogs at Psychology Today. He co-authored Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery. 

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