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Advice to Black Friday shoppers: Know when to call off the hunt

Shoppers will be out in droves to snag Black Friday deals this year.

As Black Friday looms, raising the stakes for shopaholics everywhere, mental health experts say if you’re participating in the frenzied early morning adventure for bargains, get a game plan, and know when to call off the hunt.

“I’m not getting out of bed at 3 a.m. on Friday morning, but I  know people who do, and they love it,’’ said Kenneth R. Yeager, director of the Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “It’s the thrill of the chase.’’

Yeager said the reason some are obsessed with “buying” during the Black Friday madness is the “risk and reward factor to going out and finding the perfect gift for the perfect price,’’ whether it’s for you or someone else.

He said those most prone to braving Black Friday are driven, type-A individuals, compulsive deal-shoppers, and people seeking approval of others.

You’ll know you’re getting too obsessed with getting the best deals because there’s a difference between buying the first gift and buying the 15th.

“There is less real risk in brick-and-mortar shopping — you can only carry as much as you can carry, versus Cyber Monday shopping where, there’s a real risk of losing perception about how much you are picking up online,’’ he said.

You’ll know when competing with others to snag the best deals becomes unhealthy when: you become angry, short-tempered, or visibly frustrated.

“Those are signs that say, ‘Wait a minute, slow down and take a breath.’ It’s supposed to be fun. But there is a limited amount of time so understand your priorities. You won’t get to every single sale item on your list, so lower your expectations each time you go after an item.’’

Yeager’s advice for those crossing into an unhealthy Black Friday mentality: “Have a plan and know when enough is enough.

“When it stops becoming fun, step away and have a plan for what you’re going to do after you’re done shopping. Don’t stay out there thinking you’ll find that last magical thing. You can probably go online and find it on Monday.”

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