Perceived poisoning may manifest in numerous ways; however, all cases share certain characteristics. All are fostered by the wide availability of unreliable information about chemical safety, poor understanding of scientific principles, and ineffective risk communication. Although this problem is still incompletely understood, some approaches have been demonstrated to be useful, such as education about risk, appropriate reassurance, and empathy on the part of the practitioner. Successful management may curtail the spread or exacerbation of symptoms, whereas unsuccessful treatment may cause the problems to escalate, with detrimental effects on both society and patient.
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