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Frequent urge to smell moth balls, chew and spit them, suspected to be stemming from Pica. What can be done?

Hi Doc.. recently I have developed the urge to inhhale the smell of mothballs and from there i started chewing them and spitting them out..this has been going on for about a month..I went to see my physician and she believes it s stemming from a condition called Pica..What can I do? am I going to die? also for about a week i have had diarrhea and pain when that coming from the mothballs?
Asked On : Sat, 22 Sep 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  144
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Thanks for writing in to us.

I urge you to please stop your moth ball craving and chewing/ spitting behavior immediately.

In humans, exposure to large amounts of naphthalene may damage or destroy red blood cells. This could cause the body to have too few red blood cells until it replaces the destroyed cells.

Some of the symptoms of this condition are fatigue, lack of appetite, restlessness, and pale skin. Exposure to large amounts of naphthalene may also cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the urine, and jaundice (yellow coloration of the skin).

Please consult a psychiatrist or de addiction center nearby.

Hope this helps
Answered: Thu, 29 Aug 2013
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