Xanthophobia: The Fear of Color Yellow

Xanthophobia: The Fear of Color Yellow

The irrational fear or hatred of the colour yellow is known as xanthophobia. Individuals suffering from this disorder should expect a very high degree of anxiety from simply thinking about the colour yellow, let alone ever seeing it.

Ultimately, the anxiety can be so severe that they may even experience a full-blown panic attack. While such an influx of anxiety would not always be the case for those who have xanthophobia, it is still quite possible.

Among several other symptoms, anyone having a full-blown panic attack as a result of their xanthophobia may expect to have an elevated heart rate, higher blood pressure, and increased respiratory rate, muscle tension, trembling, and excessive sweating.

While panic attacks may not always be the case for anyone with symptoms of xanthophobia, particularly if their symptoms are very serious, they can still occur.

Anyone with xanthophobia may avoid yellow objects or anything that has the colour in it. Extreme measures could be taken to ensure they are not exposed to anything yellow.

Someone with this disorder can refuse to have on anything with yellow in it, and prevent anything with yellow in it in their home. Major causes of their mental distress are likely to be an undue concern and irrational thoughts.

Anyone with this condition might actively suppress their fear to help them minimize their risk of feeling any acute anxiety.

This can also exacerbate their xanthophobia symptoms in the long-term because by putting in more effort to avoid their object of fear, they are also justifying their phobia.

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Symptoms of Xanthophobia

Someone with xanthophobia should expect fear to be the most prominent indicator of their condition, as is the case with about any other phobias.

As previously mentioned, their distress can also be so intense that as a result of it, they can also suffer full-blown panic attacks.

They might also have to be hospitalized, depending on how severe their panic attack is. This will vary from person to person, however, and will be based on several variables.

In addition, a person with xanthophobia can undertake painstaking efforts to ensure they do not in any way, come into contact with their fear.

This may suggest that they not only avoid places where they may come into contact with their anxiety but also that by taking a more proactive approach, they can consciously try to prevent it from occurring.

Below are more common symptoms of xanthophobia:

  • Anxiety
  • Constant avoidance of material that has yellow in it
  • Difficulty coping with anxiety
  • Shakiness, muscle tension, and sweating
  • Panic attacks

Causes of Xanthophobia

There are no conclusive causes of xanthophobia. Nonetheless, in the development of this disorder, genetics and one’s environment can both play very important roles.

For instance, someone with a family history of mental illness, particularly anxiety disorders or particular phobias, might be more likely to experience xanthophobia. This may be because they then have a genetic predisposition to typically experience mental illness.

If anyone were to have such genetics, for them to develop full-blown xanthophobia, it might only require that they undergo some form of a traumatic incident.

Therefore, taking an in-depth look at these two distinct parameters may shed some light on whether or not you may be at risk of xanthophobia developing.


Much as there are no definitive causes of xanthophobia, there are still no explicitly formulated therapies for this disorder either. However, several different types of therapy are still available that can help to relieve several symptoms of xanthophobia greatly.

Treatments of xanthophobia include exposure therapy, psychiatric medications, and cognitive-behavioural therapy ( CBT),  among others.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

For individuals struggling with emotion control, dialectical behaviour therapy is a very successful method of care. It is also used to treat people with a borderline personality disorder.  However, DBT can also favour those suffering from anxiety disorders such as xanthophobia.

This is due to the many coping abilities that you would expect to acquire in a DBT class. Usually, these groups last around six months and may have anywhere from two individuals to many individuals, depending on how many people are involved.

Half-smiling is one very useful DBT skill for treating those with xanthophobia. This method works by making you think about what scares you by softly smiling, slightly raising the sides of your mouth, hence the word “half-smiling.”

But it is not enough to only think about what scares you while half-smiling, you also have to try and keep from entertaining certain painful emotions that might evoke your fear of yellow.

Mindfulness therapy is also commonly used in DBT, and when it is performed in a group, it can greatly support those with xanthophobia, which helps to bring the patient out of their daily routine.

You are also encouraged to hone in on your sense of taste by drinking tea. Breathing exercises are also required to help you focus better.

Another very valuable DBT trait that can assist those with xanthophobia is coping ahead. You can find a place to settle down peacefully without distraction so you can cope ahead.

Have your eyes closed and think of the different potential situations in which you can face and resolve or cope with your particular fear.


There are several poses in yoga that can significantly help anyone who has xanthophobia. In part, this is due to the serene state of mind, which yoga tends to generate consistently in those who practice it.

It is possible to think of Yoga as meditation in motion. It will help to alleviate some of the xanthophobia-related anxiety due to the simple fact that your mind can be diverted to something more positive by engaging in yoga.

Someone with xanthophobia can take advantage of many styles of yoga, such as hot yoga or hatha yoga, among many others. Nevertheless, nearly all of them can help to alleviate some of the tension and anxiety linked with xanthophobia.

If you have never engaged in yoga before, then taking a class or watching some directed videos that can help you through each pose might be in your best interest. The more yoga you engage in, the more adept you will become at it, much as with meditation.

You should also expect to achieve improved strength and flexibility, among other advantages, in addition to helping you to reduce the symptoms of xanthophobia.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

A psycho-social intervention aimed at improving one’s mental health is referred to as CBT. sIt is a tool that is commonly used to treat individuals with anxiety disorders such as GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).

Someone with xanthophobia can also take advantage of CBT as well as seeing how it will allow them to have a much clearer understanding of why they think and act in relation to their irrational fears of colot yellow.

Given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms, CBT can be extremely beneficial for anyone with xanthophobia. For instance, they will almost always have an immediate, subconscious reaction to their worry and fear of anything yellow.

Such a lack of introspection may be a large part of why anyone with this disorder will struggle to the extent that they do. CBT will help you take a step back and more thoroughly examine your worries than you would usually do.

In addition to learning to be more meticulous with respect to knowing one ‘s particular fears, anyone participating in CBT with xanthophobia may also expect to develop various skills to help alleviate the anxiety induced by their disorder.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

MBSR is an 8-week evidence-based curriculum that includes secular, comprehensive instruction in mindfulness to assist people with anxiety, stress, depression, and other kinds of mental distress. 

As mindfulness meditation has proven to be very helpful for anxious people, MBSR may be able to support someone who suffers from xanthophobia significantly.

Someone with the fear of yellow can expect to learn an extensive set of skills in such a structured program that can help them alleviate the extreme anxiety associated with their particular phobia.

You can meet with your doctor or therapist to see if MBSR can help you minimize the severity of your xanthophobia symptoms, as well as the position of your area’s MBSR services.

Exposure Therapy

One of the most effective approaches to treating anxiety disorders such as xanthophobia is exposure therapy, as earlier described. It can be an important way of helping to desensitize the patient to their fears. Be that as it may, the therapist must be qualified before incorporating it in their patient.

 For instance, if the therapist were to introduce someone with the fear of yellow marginally, then it would not be very successful because they would need a larger amount of exposure to induce any beneficial patient shift.

hIt is also important for people with the fear of yellow have a therapist who would implement exposure therapy and has a very good understanding of how serious their symptoms are.

This is so that they can recognize the amount of exposure that the patient is likely to be able to handle.

Reducing Caffeine

Consuming large quantities of caffeine can make you more nervous during the day. This makes sense as when we consider how caffeine changes the physiology of our body.

High intake of caffeine, the heart can beat more rapidly, and we become tenser. “In essence, our body may enter a ” fight or flight” mode. For those with xanthophobia to experience panic attacks, such a state of mind is also a precursor.

Therefore, consuming little to no caffeine during the day will substantially help decrease possible feats of anxiety.

Certain energy drinks, beverages such as coffee and tea are also high in caffeine. Also, some foods, including dark chocolate, have caffeine in them as well. Being more mindful of your everyday intake of caffeine can help you to reduce some of the xanthophobia-related symptoms.

Psychiatric Drugs

  • Antidepressant Drugs

These types of drugs are not only for people suffering from depression, as they can also benefit people with anxiety disorders. Paxil, Lexapro, and Zoloft, amongst many others, are some popular antidepressants. Any of the effects of xanthophobia may be suppressed by these medications.

Usually, these types of medications are taken regularly. They can also help avoid the incidence of panic attacks, but they are most commonly used to help reduce the everyday anxiety of people. Meet with your doctor how they can help you reduce your symptoms of xanthophobia by taking antidepressants. You can also find out it for not it is safe to do so.

  • Anti-anxiety Drugs

To help avoid panic attacks, anti-anxiety drugs are very useful. Because people with phobias very frequently experience panic attacks, such medications can be particularly beneficial for individuals suffering from a serious fear of yellow. Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, and, among many others, are some popular anti-anxiety drugs.

Usually, these types of drugs are taken regularly; however, before you decide to do so, this is something that needs to be addressed with your doctor to guarantee that it is safe.


Exercise, like xanthophobia, has shown to be highly helpful for people suffering from anxiety disorders. Cardiovascular exercise, in particular, can greatly help to alleviate one’s stress.

This is not to suggest that training for weight resistance doesn’t help anyone with anxiety, but aerobic exercise has proven to be more efficient in releasing certain chemicals, such as endorphins, that feel good in the brain.

American Psychology Association claims that exercise can help to train the mind to better cope with stressful conditions. This is reasonable when we take into account the high amount of stress that the body goes through during strenuous exercise.

A sedentary people who engage in some aerobic exercise may experience minimized symptoms of xanthophobia substantially by making it much easier for them to deal with the anxiety and stress associated with this disorder.

To help alleviate the symptoms of xanthophobia, activities such as swimming, biking, skiing, walking, and jogging, are aerobic modalities you can engage in. By playing sports such as tennis, basketball, soccer, and racquetball, among many other sports, you can also take advantages of exercise.

Consistently participating in some form of exercise can help to alleviate some of the xanthophobia-related pain over time.


Anyone who has xanthophobia may practice different ways of meditation. In particular, meditations on mindfulness has been proven to be very effective in helping individuals to reach a calmer state.

There are many ways in which mindfulness meditation can be practised, and there are also different meditation applications designed to make it as simple for you as possible.

Mindfulness can benefit those suffering from the fear of yellow because of how it can distract a person from their anxiety by refocusing their mind on something else that does not have any emotional baggage.  This is one of the most fundamental ways for one to meditate and be present.

In the middle of a panic attack, someone with xanthophobia may try redirecting their mind to the different sensations as a way to potentially minimize the amount of mental anguish encountered during such an influx of anxiety.

Careful attention can be paid on the muscles in your abdomen and chest. You can control the contraction and relaxation as you inhale and exhale in order to implement mindfulness meditation to help alleviate your fear of yellow.

You can also concentrate on the sounds around you, the way your skin feels against certain objects, the taste of food, the smell of other things that has your attention, in addition to concentrating on your breathing.

Essentially, it will greatly enable you to control some of the anxiety associated with xanthophobia by tapping into your five senses. Also, note that being an adept concentration would require plenty of practice. Ultimately, practice is important.

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