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My daughter is addicted to smells, is it dangerous?

Q: My daughter is 17 years old. She is addicted to smells. First she started smelling camphor balls (naphthalene balls). When we checked her, she started with other things like petrol, shoe polish, thinner (nail polish remover) and axe oil. I have tried my best to convince her but she always finds some thing new.

A:Habitual sniffing of a variety of toxic or intoxicating chemicals is a behavioural problem or an inborn perversion that may defy explanation. However, behavioural therapy by a psychologist who is interested in compulsive habits or dangerous addictions could be helpful. Sometimes, vitamins, iron or zinc deficiencies contribute and these can be added as supplements to the diet. A further consideration that may be thought about is would cigarette smoking be more acceptable as a substitute habituation? If the issue is a choice of some inhalant, then a mild tobacco may be introduced as an alternative habit.


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