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People Say Target Is Making Fun Of Mental Illness With One Of Its Holiday Sweaters

The retailer says it has no plans to pull the sweater from its shelves.

Posted on November 11, 2015, at 3:17 p.m. ET

Target is being accused online of being insensitive toward those with mental illness because it is selling a sweatshirt bearing the phrase "Obsessive Christmas Disorder."

Target / Via

People on social media began to notice the sweater, which is a play on Obsessive Complusive Disorder or OCD, this week after Target released its holiday sweater collection in store and online.

Target / Via

The sweater is currently on sale for $22.40, down from an initial price of $27.99.

The shoppers said that the sweater was offensive because it seems to poke fun at OCD, a serious mental illness.

The disorder affects about 2.2 million adults in America, according to the National Institute of Health.

Some shoppers said they felt the sweater was mocking the disorder.

hey @Target OCD is a serious condition not something to be mocked, stop selling this

And called on the retailer to remove it.

I'm calling on @Target to remove the #OCD sweater! Please RT if you stand for #mentalhealth @IOCDF

"Will you guys be coming out with a joke sweater about people with cancer too?" asked one OCD awareness group.

@Target Will you guys be coming out with a joke sweater about people with cancer too? #OCDIsNoJoke

But some people defended Target, saying all the criticism was overblown.

People getting upset over an OCD Christmas sweater at target? People make me ashamed nowadays.

"As someone who has OCD I don't see any reason to be angry about @Target's "offensive" sweater - it's perfectly even," wrote Weston Pagano.

As someone who has OCD I don't see any reason to be angry about @Target's "offensive" sweater - it's perfectly even!

The phrase "Obsessive Christmas Disorder" wasn't invented by Target, and has been around for a while. A Google search for the phrase turns up tons of clothing items from many different retailers.

Shoppers can also buy countless home goods with the phrase on websites such as Etsy.

Etsy / Via

In response to the backlash, a Target spokesman told BuzzFeed News the chain has no plan to remove the sweater from its shelves.

Facebook: target

"We never want to disappoint any of our guests and we apologize for any discomfort," Joshua Thomas said. "At this time we don’t have any plans to remove this product from our storefront."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.