Xanthophobia or fear of the color yellow: Are you afraid of the color of ‘bad luck’?


What are you afraid of? The world of phobias is sometimes very surprising to us, although it seems almost normal to be afraid of spiders, flying, snakes or even normalize disorders such as agoraphobia. However, other phobias are harder for us to understand. This is the case of xanthophobia or the fear of the color yellow , a disorder that we explain in our dictionary of phobias .

What is xanthophobia

Xanthophobia is the fear of the color yellow . Thus, as you read, colors can also be the stimulus of a phobic disorder. It may seem that this phobia of yellow is easily solved by avoiding this color, no yellow clothes, no yellow paint at home or nothing to buy in the super yellow packaging.

But it is not that simple . Because outside the home yellow is a color that cannot be avoided. You cannot avoid being in the waiting room in a place painted yellow, you cannot avoid being handed a yellow brochure when you are walking down the street, you cannot avoid yellow cars or taxis in some cities. And you can’t avoid the sun, which is also yellow. Or the flowers of this color when you take a walk in the park.

Symptoms of xanthophobia

It is seeing something yellow and beginning to feel that something is wrong, uncontrollable nervousness and irrational fear . Fear of what? The fear that phobias produce does not have to be of something specific, but is a general feeling, fear that something bad will happen or happen to you . From there, all the symptoms of anxiety begin to develop.

Yes, phobias and anxiety always go hand in hand . That is why when something scares you, you get dizzy, it is difficult to breathe, you have a feeling of unreality, you get even more scared with tachycardia or palpitations, your arms and legs go to sleep, it seems that you have a huge weight on your chest and you may have a panic attack. And all this as a result of a color. But all that will pass .

Causes of xanthophobia

The question we all ask ourselves is how a color , in this case yellow, can produce a phobic disorder. Like all phobias, the traumatic experience is placed as the main cause . Imagine a child who receives the news of the death of a relative or of a terrible accident from the mouth of a person wearing yellow, for example. Or that at that moment he was coloring a drawing in yellow. The emotional charge of that event will be forever linked to that color.

Xanthophobia can be favored by cultural factors, since yellow is considered the color of bad luck and in some cultures it is related to death. That it is a superstition does not detract from it, since whenever we talk about phobias we talk about an irrational and excessive fear.

Treatment of xanthophobia

Trying to overcome a phobia on your own is not recommended. It is a serious and very limiting disorder that requires the help of a psychologist. And the most effective therapy for phobias is cognitive behavioral therapy , a method that works both the distorted thinking that creates fear and the avoidance reaction or behavior.

The treatment of xanthophobia is usually accompanied by different support techniques , such as gradual exposure , for example. This helps the person who suffers from the phobia to face the stimulus little by little and verify that the yellow color is not as dangerous as he thinks.

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