NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Target is taking heat over a holiday sweater that some on social media say trivializes mental illness.
The red sweater bears the words “OCD: Obsessive Christmas Disorder” and has some alleging that it makes light of obsessive-compulsive disorder, a condition characterized by both obsessions and compulsions.
“It’s like exploiting people that are sick. That have discomfort,” said one person, while another stated: “I do think it’s offensive because a lot of people are suffering with different psychotic disorders.”
Using the hashtag #OCD, people have taken to Twitter to urge Target to stop selling the sweater.
But not everyone is offended.
“I have OCD and I’m not offended by it, but I don’t get offended by much. It’s pretty tasteless,” said Jill McElroy, a Target shopper.
Others on social media who shared that they too have OCD called the sweater “awesome.”
While McElroy doesn’t think the store needs to pull the sweater, she does think many don’t understand how serious OCD can be.
Jenny Yip, a psychiatrist, agrees.
“People don’t understand the severity of OCD because they only see the behaviors and they don’t see the nightmare that happens in the sufferer’s mind,” said Yip, who specializes in the treatment of OCD.
“I don’t think anyone in the world would dare to make fun of autism, depression, schizophrenia, so why is OCD OK to do so,” Yip asked.
The item is not exclusive to Target, however. Several online retailers carry similar items with the same phrase.
A company spokesperson for Target released the following statement to CBS Los Angeles:
“We never want to disappoint our guests and we apologize for any discomfort. We currently do not have plans to remove this sweater.”
“In a word, it’s just absurd. People are offended by everything and anything,” Paul Diperri, another Target shopper, said.