Obsessive Christmas Disorder

We literally had someone come onto our OCD Twin Cities Facebook page and tell us, “If you don’t like it don’t buy it, get over it! Another thing to be politically correct about I guess” to which Alison responded magnanimously and I replied:

“Brent, educate yourself. This is the page of OCD Twin Cities, a group of people who have gone through HELL because of this disorder. You don’t get to come to our page and tell us to be less sensitive about the disorder that has devastated our lives. Would you go to a cancer victims page and tell them to be less sensitive about cancer? Would you go to a hate crimes victims page and tell them to be less sensitive about racism? I sure hope not. And if you’re the kind of person who would, then I feel sorry for you. Again, educate yourself. It’s not about being politically correct. It’s about compassion. Try harder. Do better.”

Later I posted on my Facebook wall:

“So, here’s the thing with the Target “OCD: Obsessive Christmas Disorder” sweaters: people who don’t have OCD don’t get to tell people who DO have OCD whether it’s appropriate or not to be offended. It doesn’t work like that. You don’t get to approach a victim of mental illness (or of racism, or of abuse, etc.) and define for them what YOUR boundaries are for their complaints. What is the matter with people? I just want to crawl into a cave and hibernate. Wake me when the world learns common sense and compassion. Heck, I’d even settle just for the sun coming out again.”

Alison Dotson is the nicest, kindest woman ever. When she speaks up, it’s to educate, not to insult or shame. (I admit I am not always as kind!) To see people treat her like this is so sickening. She’s a sweetheart.

If people made light of any number of other things, it would be stopped in half a second. But there is still so much misunderstanding around OCD.

We soldier on.

Alison Dotson

By now you’ve probably heard of the controversy over a holiday sweater Target is carrying this season. It reads “OCD Obsessive Christmas Disorder.” On the surface, it’s “just a sweater.” At least that’s what people keep telling me. They’ve also told me it isn’t making fun of OCD, and that “compulsive” is a pretty key word to the whole term. Of course, I think “obsessive” and “disorder” are pretty key words as well, and they’re included on the shirt.

An alternative title to this blog post could be “When Advocacy Turns Ugly” because I’ve been getting some nasty tweets in response to the one I sent to Target on Tuesday:


Usually when I open Twitter I’ll have somewhere between two and five notifications. The morning after I sent this tweet I had 22. What?! I soon realized why: My tweet was included in a Mashable article about the issue.


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