Target plans to keep selling OCD Christmas sweater despite controversy

A battle over a Target Christmas sweater poking fun at OCD is starting to turn ugly on social media.

Emblazoned with “OCD — Obsessive Christmas Disorder” on the front, the bright red sweater has not gone over well with some mental health advocates, who say it trivializes obsessive-compulsive disorder.

While some people would like to see it pulled from store shelves, Target says it plans to keep selling the sweater during the holidays.

The OCD sweater, which sells for $22.40, is part of the giant retailer’s Ugly Christmas Sweater collection, an annual tongue-in-cheek tradition making fun of garish Yuletide attire. It is available online and is in stock at most Chicago-area Target stores.

“We never want to disappoint our guests and we apologize for any discomfort,” said Jessica Carlson, a spokeswoman for Minneapolis-based Target. “We currently do not have plans to remove this sweater.”

Other Target selections include Ugly Christmas Tree, Darth Vader Christmas and a sweater featuring the message “On The Naughty List,” none of which has generated much controversy.

An anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts and repetitive behaviors, OCD affects about 2.2 million American adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

While some have taken to Twitter, asking Target to remove the offending sweater from their stores, others are suggesting critics should lighten up, including a post Wednesday from a woman claiming to suffer from OCD.

“Let’s not get super offended by the target #OCD sweater,” she wrote. “I have actual OCD. OCD is not a joke, but it’s just a sweater. Calm down ppl.”

Twitter @RobertChannick