Xanthophobia: Fear of the color yellow

No matter how many phobias are recognized today, there will always be one more surprising than the other.


Most people own a favorite color and tend to match their wardrobe or other accessories to it. In the opposite case, when it comes to an unhealthy repulsion towards the color yellow , then one is in the presence of xanthophobia.

This phobia can be developed from different causes. Among the main ones, a traumatic experience linked to the color yellow could be typified , almost always aroused throughout childhood.


Long ago the color yellow was very well received from a social perspective, because it was related to gold and light.

But after Jean-Baptiste Poquelin ( better known as Molière ) passed away during the presentation of ” The Imaginary Sick ” completely dressed in yellow in 1673, that whole belief system fell apart.

Many ideologies see the color yellow as a symbol of bad luck, illness and in much more extreme cases, death.

It is there perhaps where the greatest weight of incidence of xanthophobia falls, in the cultural association that occurs with highly negative experiences.

The affected individual may feel rejection not only towards color as such, but also at the mention of it.

Those who suffer from xanthophobia can fear flowers, the sun, cars or any object of this hue.


The symptomatic picture of xanthophobia does not go much beyond those present in other specific phobias : worry or feeling of restlessness, uncontrollable and unjustified fear, chills, dry mouth, nausea, hallucinations and increased heart and respiratory rate.

Of course, simple dislike of the color yellow cannot count as xanthophobia.

The fear must be disproportionate, illogical and must impair the ability of the affected person to function normally in situations in which this color is exposed.

As occurs within the behavioral framework of most phobias, xanthophobia must lead to the avoidance of the color yellow .

Whoever suffers from this psychopathy will feel obliged to structure their entire routine based on avoidance.

In the worst case, the affected person may consider it prudent to isolate himself as a defense mechanism against situations that involve the object of his phobia.


There are several treatments from which xanthophobia could be addressed, but experts have concluded that cognitive-behavioral therapy ( CBT ) is the best option when it comes to treating specific phobias.

Through CBT the anxiety triggered by the phobia is dealt with, providing the affected person with the necessary tools to control fear and be able to adjust to it slowly through fear-related stimuli ( in this case, color yellow ).

As is often the case with phobias, each case is totally different.

Therefore, depending on its intensity, xanthophobia could also be treated through relaxation techniques, neurolinguistic programming or desensitization therapies.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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