Most of us have had shopping experiences at major sales events that would have been emotionally easier to handle with a steady Thorazine drip being administered in a padded room somewhere underneath the mall.

However, while having a hole drilled into your skull just to deal with the insanity of shopping might sound a bit excessive, a new study suggests that shoppers may actually experience their own personal ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ when submersed in super sale madness.

According to a social media survey of 31 potential lunatics who recently participated in a major sales event, such as Black Friday, 20 percent said they experienced levels of high anxiety while shopping, 23 percent experienced a momentary lapse in reason called “derealization” and nearly half of the study group reported a lack of empathy for other shoppers.

Lead researcher Noel Hunter, a doctoral student in psychology at Long Island University, believes the results may explain some of the horrific incidences that have occurred at Black Fridays in the past, like trampling shoppers, using pepper spray and even shooting.

Hunter says that marketing ploys, such as those infamous “limited time only” promotions, elevate anxiety. “They’re purposefully trying to increase anxiety, which then results in all of these symptoms,” Hunter said.

To reduce stress while shopping, Hunter says people should practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, and set realistic shopping goals as to not let yourself get overwhelmed.

The study, which assessed participant’s levels of worry, physical anxiety, lack of empathy, fear, derealization and other symptoms was presented last week at the American Psychological Association meeting in Orlando, Florida.

However, due to its small sample size, more research is needed to confirm its results.

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