Below is the response I posted on a local radio's Facebook page regarding the Target sweater controversy.
I have OCD.
I wholeheartedly embrace humour.
Heck, I make jokes about my OCD. I make jokes to bring some lightness to a disease that can be so debilitating.
People often say "I'm soooo OCD" because they enjoy a clean house or they enjoy having things in order.
OCD is not about enjoying having things in order. If there's enjoyment involved, it's not OCD.
OCD involves intense emotions like fear, guilt, regret and anxiety. People do compulsions in attempt to find relief from the torment they are experiencing.
In reference to the Target sweater, I've noticed a lot of people saying things like "get over it," or "it's the Internet. Everyone is going to be offended by something."
To me it's not about being offended. It's about feeling passionately about raising awareness regarding a mental illness that has many stereotypes and misperceptions. Stereotypes that are perpetuated by things like the sweater, as funny as people may find it.
If we embrace the viewpoint that it's "no big deal," at what point IS something a big deal?
Target probably wasn't making fun of people with OCD. And people with OCD may enjoy the sweater. That's fine.
For me, I am taking this as an opportunity to advocate for a disorder that took years for me to open up to anyone about due to the shame I experienced, due to the lack of understanding from society.
Sure, it's just the Internet. Sure, people will always be offended by something.
But like it or not, the sweater has people talking. Let's USE that. Let's shift the focus of the sweater.
And you know what? It's more than about the sweater. It's about OCD advocacy. #OCDvocate +International OCD Foundation