Fear of the Color Yellow

A fear of color often has less to do with the color and more to do with something else that is associated with the color. Such is the case with Xanthophobia. The fear of yellow may seem irrational to those who like to view sunsets or inhale the beauty of a yellow flower in spring. However, the serenity associated with those two experiences is lost on the xanthophobe.

Yellow is the color of a canary and the visual taste of corn. It is a pat of butter on pancakes and the color of caution. It seems benign, yet it can bring about sever panic in those who fear it most.

What Causes Xanthophobia?

The fear of yellow may originate independent of any past experience, but in most cases the fear was either introduced by someone else or the result of trauma. An example would be if an individual were involved in a car accident that took the life of a loved one and the vehicle that hit them was yellow. The xanthophobe might unconsciously begin associating yellow with the taking of life.

The cause of the fear might have been related to the enjoyment of a flower and a resulting sting from a bee that was also enjoying the flower. The resulting fear may respond with yellow=pain.

In some cases the fear may even extend to the word yellow. In this case just seeing the name brings the undesirable images to mind and the fear embers are fanned into a flame.

Symptoms of Xanthophobia

A xanthophobe will have an immediate and negative visual response when coming across yellow unawares. In milder cases they may simply close their eyes and leave the offending colored item behind.

Other symptoms include…

  • Elevated or irregular heartbeat
  • Air hunger
  • Trembling
  • Numbness in limbs
  • Trouble concentrating on anything but avoidance
  • Crying
  • Fainting
  • Panic attack

Avoidance is a common symptom, but is inadequate in a world where the light we have been given to live (sun) rises and sets on a daily basis.

How to Overcome Xanthophobia

In many cases a therapist can quickly hep the xanthophobe come to terms with the fact that there is really nothing to fear from the color yellow. It will amaze family members and friends to see how quickly the fear prone individual can come to accept the color yellow without a flight response. The trouble comes when that individual is not with the therapist and then begins to struggle with their fear once more.

For anyone with a phobia there comes a point where you learn that the fear may never completely go away, but the personal response can change. Courage can be called upon to face down a fear (even with trembling) and come away a fear conqueror.

As mentioned elsewhere on this site there is a small part of your brain that reacts to fear. A therapist helps you rely less on that part of your brain and more on the part that deals with logic. The fear is diminished when your brain first looks at a fear from a logical point of view. Emotions may still scream for a different response, but success comes when your response is in line with what you know to be true about what you fear most.

The fear of yellow is also referred to as:

  • yellow color phobia
  • fear of yellow phobia name
  • fear of the color yellow
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