Fear of the Color Purple

The color purple is often considered a sign of royalty. This is the color kings wear and a color that invokes subjects to show honor and respect. It is a color chosen by a singing artist named Prince to demonstrate his own place in the annuls of music history. Whoopi Goldberg starred in a movie entitled The Color Purple. Yet for all the accolades due this color there are some who have a profound fear of purple. Their phobia is described as Porphyrophobia.

The color purple graces vegetables such as egg plant and cabbage. In patriotic songs purple is used to describe the majesty of mountains. Purple is a common school color. Yet for of its glory there are times when it cannot receive respect because it is the subject of profound fear.

What Causes Porphyrophobia?

The fear of virtually any color is linked to negative associations. The fear can develop as a result of observation or personal experience, but it often goes back to either a conscious or subconscious, but highly negative association between the color purple and something that left a lasting negative impression.

The fear can be expressed in relation to the color itself or the color in association with a certain shape or object.

Symptoms of Porphyrophobia

The visual cue to this fear is when an individual visibly tenses in the presence of something that is purple in color. They may actually run away from the color or they may stand immobilized and can resort to tears.

Other symptoms include…

  • Air hunger
  • Heart palpitations
  • Trembling
  • Panic attacks
  • Nausea
  • Urge to flee
  • Loss of control over emotions
  • Loss of control over actions

The emotional trauma associated with this phobia can cause embarrassment, but it can also leave the one who fears with a feeling of complete helplessness in effectively dealing with their fear response.

How to Overcome Porphyrophobia

It may be a broad overstatement, but I think it’s safe to say that a person who lives with Porphyrophobia may actually suffer from a fear that is distinct and separate from an aversion to the color purple.

By seeking out the help of a qualified therapist you will likely learn the real causes for the fear you experience when you encounter something purple. The fear often starts in childhood and is generally linked to believing something that was either misstated or based on a lie – real or unintentional.

Adults often do not realize the impact their words can have on their children. What may be meant as a joke can be misunderstood by a child who may obsess about something said innocently enough. The end result can be profound anxiety about something that the parent never wanted or intended their child to be concerned about.

It is true that a majority of children can adapt and bounce back from words spoken in haste or even ignorance, but there are some children who embrace the words of authority figures in their lives and cling to those words and internalize them for present and future reference.

The fear of the color purple is also referred to as:

  • Purple fear
  • Porphyrophobia
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