I have in my circle a person that is a hypochondriac and harbors fears regarding things the person considers me an expert in. So I often get asked questions like: "Can this make me sick?", "Can it cause cancer used in this or that way?" etc.

I don't always know how to react, should I try to placate the person's fear and gloss over certain potentially problematic corner cases, or should I go in-depth and explain every nook and cranny of the topic?

I usually go down into the weeds and try to explain in detail what would limit exposure and why. Sort of the "teach a person to fish" kind of approach. I consider this the most honest way. But it sometimes seems, that all the person wants to hear is: Don't worry about it. Don't do <insert-commonly-known-worst-case> and you'll be fine.

It honors me that I have so much trust put into my words, but sometimes I worry if I am doing the right thing. How can I support the professional treatment for this condition that person is already undergoing?

EDIT: Just to be clear: There is no real substantial danger to the person. The topic is commonly regarded as not entirely clear and sufficiently scary even to the non-diagnosed hypochondriac, but scientifically and morally it is completely ok to say, don't use it too much and don't worry about it.


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