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Target Accused Of Making Light Of Mental Illness With 'Obsessive Christmas Disorder' Sweater

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 11/11/2015 Alana Horowitz Satlin

It's November, which means that the season of companies facing backlash over offensive Halloween costumes has given way to the season of companies facing backlash over offensive Christmas gear.

First, Starbucks was criticized for changing the design of its iconic red holiday cups. Now, Target is taking heat for a sweater that bears the text: "OCD. Obsessive Christmas Disorder."

Some consumers argued that that the sweater made light of mental illness. Over 2 million adults in the U.S. suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. For more on OCD and other mental health issues, head over to NIMH.

While Target may not have intended to offend anyone, there is real harm in using terms for mental illness metaphorically. As mental health advocate Rebecca Fuoco said, "Making these flippant references (1) trivializes how devastating the illnesses can be and (2) perpetuates myths and misunderstandings." 

As AdWeek pointed out, Target was not the only retailer that used the slogan; Cracker Barrel and Amazon carried similar products. And not everyone was offended by the sweater:

Target reached outto several of the concerned Twitter users, but told Time that it has no plans to pull the sweater.

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