Colors abound in this world. Everywhere people go they see different shades and hues. Some colors are bright while others are dark. Most people love certain colors and despise others. Studies have proven that colors can also have an effect on human behavior. For example, green is known to be quite calming (which is why a lot of road signs are green) while red tends to make people alert and aware. Although colors add vibrancy to the world, some people find colors intimidating—even frightening. In fact, some people are downright afraid of colors!
Chromophobia is the word that describes the fear of colors. While a small minority of people suffer from this broad phobia, most people who fear colors have an aversion to one particular color. Throughout this four-part series I will list the names of color-related phobias and some of the reasons sufferers cited for their feelings:
Chlorophobia is the fear of the color green. This might seem like a somewhat odd color to fear since green is usually regarded as being the most calming shade. However, this fear might stem from traumatic events involving things associated with green more than the color itself. For instance, a sufferer of this phobia reported developing a fear of the color green after getting lost in the woods (surrounded by green trees, grass, shrubs and moss) for several hours during their early childhood.
Cyanophobia is the fear of the color blue. Although blue is usually considered to be a tranquil color, it is sometimes associated with negative feelings such as depression. Some people who suffer from this phobia also battle with depression and dislike blue because it can be symbolic of the sadness and hopelessness that depression causes. Additionally, some people who fear the color blue do so as a result of a traumatic event (usually in early childhood) involving something associated with the color blue. In one case, a cyanophobic claimed to have started fearing blue after nearly drowning in the ocean at age 9.
Porphyrophobia is the fear of the color purple. This is one of the rarest color phobias and it is usually tied into other phobias, like fear of powerful people. The fear of the color purple was more justifiable in the medieval period when only royalty could wear purple. In fact, if a “commoner” (non-royal) was found wearing purple they could be imprisoned!