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Target faces heat on social media for 'OCD' Christmas sweater

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"Ugly sweaters" usually offend only fashion sensibilities, but many are taking genuine offense at a Christmas-themed one being sold nationwide by Target.

The red sweater, marketed under the Minnesota retailer's "Ugly Christmas Sweater" selection, bears the letters "OCD," and underneath, the words "Obsessive Christmas Disorder."

As Ad Week points out, the word-play on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which is commonly referred to as OCD, has led to considerable backlash for the Bullseye, which many social media users say is making fun of mental illness.

Have a look at some responses from Twitter:

Despite the controversy, Target officials told the Business Insider that while they "never want to disappoint" guests and "apologize for any discomfort," they don't plan to remove the sweater from their stores.

Other Twitter users voiced their support for the sweater with comments like this:

While NBC's Today notes that Target did not invent the "OCD" joke, a psychotherapist who talked with the network says "(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."

She added that millions of American adults have OCD, and that nearly 27 percent of those with the illness attempt suicide.

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