Xanthophobia: (An Update)

In this article we will discuss Xanthophobia.

Phobia is a word derived from Greek language which means fear. This may be an exaggerated aversion with something.

There various factors which can contribute to develop phobia. Environmental and genetic factors are likely to pave way for the development of a phobia.

Anyone can expose themselves to any kind of phobia by thinking irrationally about a particular thing.

A person with some kind of phobia will try to avoid things which he considers to be hazardous.

Phobias are mental disorders which can be cured


Xantho is a Greek word which means yellow. Phobia is also a Greek word which means fear.

So, Xanthophobia refers to the fear of yellowcolour or wordyellow.

A person suffering from this phobia may experience high intensity of anxiety by only thinking about the color or being exposed to a physical object with yellow colour.

This anxiety can be so intense that it may lead the person to experience a panic attack.

Symptoms of Xanthophobia:

Symptoms of Xanthophobia may vary from person to person depending on the level of fear they encounter.

Following are the symptoms which may indicate the rise of xanthophobia.

  1. Feeling of Panic:

Panic is a condition of undergoing high tension or fear of something.

Panic as a symptom can be thought to be an anticipation or a belief about some bad occurrence. Preoccupied thoughts of failure.

A person is likely to be more vulnerable to anxiety while having feelings of anxiety. Moreover, few more symptoms can be associated with panic which are as follow;

  • Agitation
  • Palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Chest Discomfort
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Fear of dying
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  1. Feeling of fear:

This is another symptom associated with xanthophobia. Fear is considered to be another form of extreme kind of fear.

Fear can be caused by unwanted or unexpected occurrences.

Those events which occur suddenly, randomly or are out of control of a person are likely to develop the feelings of fear.

Fear blocks the sense of security and also enables a person to feel alone, crippled and resentful as well.

  1. Rapid heartbeat:

Another symptom which can be observed in a xanthophobic person is rapid heartbeat.

Normally, a person’s heart beats with a rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute. But when these heart beats exceed from 100 a person may feel uneasy and anxious.

Tachycardia is a term which is used to refer to fast heartbeat.

A person having rapid heart beats may experience light-headedness, chest pain, short breathing, dizziness and heart palpitations.

If the situation worsens then it may cause a cardiac arrest or the person may become unconscious.

  1. Nausea:

Nausea can be narrated as feeling of displeasure, uneasiness and distress which is often followed by an urge to throw up.

Nausea can be often caused by an excessive use of drugs, pregnancy and food poisoning.

Nausea can also be caused by various other factors. For example, medication, viral infection, morning sickness etc.

A person may suffer a night nausea which may be caused by anxiety, acid reflux, ulcer etc.

  1. Trembling:

Symptoms of Xanthophobia also include trembling. An involuntary shake of the body is called trembling.

Tremors which are often caused by anxiety aren’t listed as to be dangerous but they have the potential to make a person feel uncomfortable and uneasy.

When a body is exposed to stress it also causes tremors. It may result in speeding up the heartbeat, high blood pressure and discomfort in breathing.

Causes of Xanthophobia:

Xanthophobia,like other phobias, is mainly triggered by unconscious thoughts.

A person with xanthophobia may have come across an unfortunate or unpleasant incident in his/her past associated with the yellow colour or word yellow.

Or it may have been caused by seeing someone else going through the same trauma.

This phobia is experienced by people in different styles.

For example, someone goes through this all the time and someone can experience it occasionally when they are being given a stimuli.

Someone may have developed negative association with the colour yellow because in the past he may have been hit by a yellow car or may be stung by a bee.

One cannot tell the causes of xanthophobia with certainty. But there are few factors that can potentially contribute to xanthophobia.

One factor is genetics. One may inherit this phobia from parents. If a person has a medical history of a mental disorder particularly anxiety or any kind of phobias then there is a high probability of developing xanthophobia.

The other factor is environmental. There is a risk for someone to be more vulnerable to develop xanthophobia.

Though there are less chances of developing xanthophobia from the environment but still it is considered to be a potential factor.

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As mentioned above there are no obvious causes of xanthophobia so there are no definitive treatments to curb this problem.

However, there are different kinds of treatments which can help lessen the symptoms of xanthophobia.

These treatments can be proven fruitful and can easily improve the condition.

These treatments are, Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and also includes some medications as well. We will discuss all the possible treatments.

  1. Exposure Therapy

This type of treatment technique is most commonly utilised therapy in dealing and treating the patients suffering from phobias.

This therapy is used by therapists to slowly and steadily expose the patients to the fear they are having.

A patient who visits a therapist for the treatment of xanthophobia may first be exposed to the pictures having yellow objects and then they would be shown physical objects with yellow colour so the patients can observe and touch those objects.

These attempts of exposing patients to such objects would aim to desensitise the patients from their fear.

It is believed that if a person more often encounters something he fears the more likely he is to get rid of that fear with the passage of time.

  1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is another commonly used therapy in the treatment of disorders.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder along with other disorders are treated by using this therapy.

Furthermore, it is more helpful and vital in treating the patients suffering from the phobias including xanthophobia as well.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy helps the therapist in uncovering the hidden aspects of why the patient is feeling, thinking and behaving in a particular manner.

A person suffering from xanthophobia can easily understand through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy the reason why he has developed this and why he thinks about his fear the way it is.

Having the understanding of these things will certainly help a person to adopt a more realistic approach  whenever he will be thinking about the color yellow and the fear associated with it.

  1. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy:

This therapy has been found to be significantly important with the people struggling with their emotional regulation.

This therapy is also helpful in treating the patients suffering from borderline personality disorders.

However, this is extremely beneficial for the patients who are struggling with their anxiety disorder particularly in the cases of xanthophobia.

The reason behind this is that this therapy offers a wide range of coping skills that one can learn and apply to deal with xanthophobia.

The sessions of this therapy are spread over around six months and this therapy is usually applied on groups.

These groups may consist of two to several people depending on the availability of patients and how many of them are willing to join the group.

Half smiling is considered to be the most powerful and extremely helpful  part of this therapy.

This technique is applied on a patient by making him think about the thing he fears or makes him upset by lightly bringing a smile on the face.

Thus this is referred to half smiling.

Although, in half smiling it isn’t enough to just think about fear but it is also important to curb from arising the those painful emotions that may be evoked by the fear.

  1. Yoga:

Different types of yoga poses can significantly help patients to deal with xanthophobia. Yoga is thought to be beneficial in relieving the negative thoughts and anxiety associated with xanthophobia.

It is believed that by engaging yourself in yoga it will divert your thoughts and put them into a more productive state. Different types of yoga can benefit a patient with xanthophobia.

For example, hatha yoga or hot yoga with different other types. However, there are numerous types of yoga.

By applying some of them only can help relieve negative emotions, stress and anxiety which is associated with xanthophobia.

  1. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction:

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction therapy consists of 8 weeks which is helpful for attaining contentment and offers intensive mindfulness to help patients who are dealing with stress, anxiety and different other mental diseases.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction therapy is also thought to be extremely beneficial for patients who are dealing with xanthophobia as mindfulness meditation has proved significant for individuals who have anxiety.

This therapy offers a structured approach to patients to learn a variety of skills to deal with their specific phobias and relieve their stress.

Exercise for Xanthophobia:

Exercise is a powerful tool for the body. It is said that a sound body has a sound mind. So, exercising on a daily basis can help a person to relieve stress and anxiety.

Especially, cardiovascular exercise is thought to be extremely beneficial to get rid of stress.

According to APA, exercising is a potential factor to train and condition the mind and prepare it to better deal with anxious situations. Aerobics is also considered effective and efficient to curb stress.

Aerobic includes, swimming, biking, jogging, skiing and walking.

Playing different kinds of sports such as soccer, tennis and cricket can also help relieve negative emotions and stress.

Being consistently engaged with such kind of recreational activities is also helpful to relieve pain.

FAQs about Xanthophobia

What is a phobia?

Phobia is a Greek language word which means being afraid of something of a situation.

What is xanthophobia?

Xanthophobia refers to the fear associated with yellow color or word yellow.

This can be in form a picture with yellow colour or a physical object.

Is it possible to cure or overcome xanthophobia?

Xanthophobia is a curable mental disorder or either it can either be overcome by using different techniques.

What can be effects of xanthophobia?

A person with xanthophobia may suffer from anxiety, fear, stress,heartbeat or palpitations.

What are different techniques to cure xanthophobia?

There are numerous types of therapies or techniques used to help patients with xanthophobia.

Some of notable therapies are, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Yoga, etc.

Can xanthophobia be cured by medication?

Patients with xanthophobia can be cured by using psychiatric drugs, i, e antidepressants.