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Target accused of poking fun at OCD with 'Obsessive Christmas Disorder' sweater

by Nicole Spector /

Jokes, jabs and a general lack of understanding surrounding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder all come at a cost to people who genuinely suffer from OCD, which is why some say a new line of Target sweaters is so upsetting.

The retail giant recently unveiled a new line of holiday sweaters that define OCD as "Obsessive Christmas Disorder."

People have taken to Twitter to let Target know that this kind of thinking — and marketing — is not OK, as it trivializes mental illness.

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Some customers are even vowing to take Target off their shopping list due to the marketing misfire.

It's a particularly bad time of year for Target to drive potential shoppers away.

In anticipation of packed stores and long lines, the chain is hiring an additional 70,000 employees to manage the holiday rush.

The outrage may strike some as a sensitive reaction to a silly holiday sweater.

Moreover, the slogan wasn't invented by Target — the phrase "Obsessive Christmas Disorder" appears in the Urban Dictionary online and on other dopey apparel sold on the web.

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But for many Americans, OCD is too serious an issue to be treated as a joke.

Antoinette D'Orazio, a psychotherapist who specializes in treating the disorder, told OCD affects some 2.2 million American adults, and nearly 27 percent sufferers attempt suicide.

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When you consider those statistics, an ugly sweater become a lot less funny.

"[When] understanding the severity of OCD as mental illness, one might better understand the distaste that sufferers and significant others in their lives might have for this particular sweater," D'Orazio said.

Target insists that it didn't mean any harm by the sweater, and despite backlash, is standing by its product.

"We never want to disappoint any of our guests and apologize for any discomfort. At this time, we have no plans to remove this item from our assortment," the company said in a statement to

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