With leukophobia, fear of the color white takes over your life. Seeing or thinking of this color can make you feel sick. You may go out of your way to avoid it. Exposure therapy may help you overcome this condition.
Leukophobia is an intense fear of the color white. It’s a specific phobia, which occurs when you face or think of a particular situation.
Leukophobia may stem from other mental health issues, including:
The source of the fear is often in what the color white represents:
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It’s natural to fear things that seem dangerous or uncomfortable. You may also get anxious about things that remind you of a bad experience, like food that made you sick. But these situations rarely disrupt daily activities.
Phobias cause more intense feelings. They bring challenges that affect your everyday life. You may experience fear that makes you go out of your way to avoid certain normal situations. This can lead to abnormal thoughts and behaviors that are difficult to control.
If the color white makes you feel this way, there’s no reason to feel self-conscious. Many people have phobias. Talk to your healthcare provider so you can learn how to lessen the impact the color white has on your life.
Genetics and your environment raise the risk of specific phobias:
Leukophobia symptoms include behavioral changes and physical responses.
Behaviors that can affect your daily life include:
Leukophobia can also make you unwell, including:
Healthcare providers typically diagnose leukophobia in an office visit. The evaluation includes asking you about symptoms and negative behaviors.
They may ask:
A common leukophobia treatment is exposure therapy. Your mental health provider helps you explore the reasons behind your fear of the color white. They then enable you to overcome these issues by exposing you to white-colored objects.
Therapy starts with low-risk exposures, such as thinking of the color white. As treatment progresses, exposures gradually become more significant. You may touch white-colored objects or briefly go to places where white is present. Over time, with successful treatment, you learn how to manage negative feelings about this color.
Additional treatments may include:
If you face a higher risk of phobias, you can learn how to manage worrisome thoughts and your reactions to them. Doing so may lower the risk of these issues escalating into phobias.
You may be able to lower your risk of leukophobia by:
Exposure therapy and other treatments help you overcome the fear of the color white. And when fears are under control, you can feel more comfortable going about your daily life. The color white may still occasionally cause anxiety. But knowing how to calm your mind can prevent these feelings from taking over.
When you have leukophobia, fear of the color white and attempts to avoid it take over your life. It’s important to remember, even though it might be difficult, that the fear is often greater than the actual risk to your well-being. This is why it’s essential to seek treatment.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Leukophobia is an intense fear of the color white. In many people, the phobia stems from worries about what the color represents. You may associate white with death, purity or commitment. Going out of your way to avoid the color white can worsen the fear’s grip on your life. With successful treatment, you learn how to manage negative feelings and behaviors. This can give you the confidence to go about your daily life without worrying about the color white.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/15/2022.
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