Health

The Internet Is Outraged Over Target's Holiday Sweater Mocking Mental Illness

November 10th 2015

By:
Taylor Bell

The holidays can get corporations to do some crazy things. But making light of a mental health disorder is not something that many people expected from retail giant Target.

The company has come under fire after it was discovered that it was selling this red holiday sweater that reads: OCD Obsessive Christmas Disorder, Business Insider Reports.

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Target's OCD Obsessive Christmas Disorder sweater

In keeping with the holiday trend of donning "ugly Christmas sweaters," Target debuted this one along with several others.

But in an attempt to capitalize on the holidays and have a creative play on words, the retailer upset many.

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Although many people may casually and loosely use the phrase OCD in conversation as a synonym to describe the intensity of a quirk or "neat freak" tendencies, it is a much more serious disorder than that, according to the International OCD Foundation.

A person who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is constantly bothered with uncontrollable and intrusive thoughts called obsessions. The most common thoughts can include unwanted, sexually perverted and aggressive thoughts, concern with offending God or religious blasphemy, fear of inflicting harm on others and fear of being contaminated by something. In order to deal with these obsessions, those with OCD perform rituals (compulsions) in order to neutralize the severe anxiety that these intrusive thoughts cause.

Currently 2.2 million Americans suffer from OCD according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Aware of the backlash, Target has been responding to consumers' concern on Twitter.

However, the retailer will not be removing the sweater any time soon. A spokesperson for the company emailed this statement to TIME:

"We never want to disappoint our guests, and we apologize for any discomfort. We currently do not have plans to remove this sweater."

According to Adweek, Target is not the only retailer selling sweaters using the "OCD Obsessive Christmas Disorder" punch line.

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