Phobias are a very common issue people deal with, and if you have one, accepting it is the first step to conquering it.
Are you afraid of the dark, hate the color black, believe that black is a superstitious color, or black reminds you of mourning or sadness?
Then you are definitely melanophobic. Melanophobia is coined from the Greek word “Melano,” which means Black, and “Phobia,” which means fear.
Melanophobia is the fear of black. Melanophobics tend to avoid black, which is quite impossible as they would have to see the color black on a daily basis.
This is related to Chromatophobia or chromophobia, which is the fear of Colors. Most people with melanophobia tend to be Negrophobic. Negrophobia is the fear of Black people.
People with this phobia might also have Achuluphobia (Fear of the dark). This also connotes that most Melanophobics are racist in nature.
The color black is usually associated with death, Satan, mourning, sadness, grief, plague, darkness, bad experience, or dirt.
People need to come to the realization that they give life to their fear, and most of them are mere superstition, unreal hallucinations, and mostly figments of their imaginations.
They should also know that these fears are not above their control. Melanophobics experience anxiety when exposed to the color black.
Symptoms of Melanophobia
These Melanophobics get to unavoidably see black on a daily basis ranging from black cars to black clothing.
Below are some of the symptoms that they would experience:
- They get very nervous when they think of the color black.
- They experience anxiety when they see the color black
- They are always afraid to go out in the night
- They are always scared of dark places
- They may have panic attacks when they encounter black color
- They may hyperventilate on the sight of the color black
- Inability to cope with their anxiety
- They tend to hallucinate when in dark places
- Possibly they may cry or scream if they find themselves in the dark.
Causes of Melanophobia
The causes or triggers of melanophobia may be direct or indirect. Below are some of the triggers:
- Parental or societal influence: Some Melanophobics are raised by people who hate the black color, and this, in every way possible, contributes to their hatred for the color black. Also, in a society where black or black people are hated, then the number of Melanophobics is going to be high. Furthermore, culture is a subdivision of societal effects. In some cultures, black is seen as a representation of evil or bad deeds. They also have legends and folktales to back them up. These go a long way in fueling the hatred for the color black.
- Genetics: As weird as it seems, these fearful Melanophobics genes can be inherited from parents or even ancestors. Sorry lovers of black, as you’ve got to look out for Melanophobics when making a choice of a life partner. You don’t want your offspring inheriting hatred from your favorite color or your spouse getting afraid at the sight of black.
- Traumatic Past Experience: If a person had a bad experience involving black, then that person would overtime become fearful of the color black.
Treatment for Melanophobia
People who are Melanophobic most times don’t seek treatment as they try to avoid black color and dark places. They also avoid going out at night.
Some also feel they have some sort of control over the influence of the color black. Avoidance of black at some point is definitely not enough. Therefore they must seek treatment.
Most treatments for phobias are very similar, although the workability depends on the individuals involved and the level of severity of their fear.
Below are some of the procedures for treating Melanophobics patients:
In this case, the Melanophobic individual make attempts to help himself or herself out of the situation (phobia).
In self-care, the Melanophobic patient tries to build self-confidence, live healthy, avoid Sedentary lifestyle, give pep talks to oneself, spread positive energy, make and affirm positive declarations, build confidence, build Healthy self-esteem, engage in more and better social activities, seek therapy, etc.
Desensitization is a behavior reformation technique, used especially in treating phobias, in which panic or other undesirable emotional response to a given stimulus is reduced or extinguished, especially by repeated exposure to that stimulus.
In other words, this self-performed technique is used to unlearn wrong notions and replace them (relearn) the right ones. It can help an individual completely get rid of melanophobia.
3. Exposure therapy
Exposure therapy is one of the best ways to treat anxiety disorders. It helps in the desensitization of Phobic individuals.
It is a gradual process as it is conducted step by step with the help of a psychiatric counselor or a psychotherapist. In this, the phobic patient is gradually exposed to the trigger, or gradually introduced from the model of the trigger to the main trigger.
Eventually, the patient understands the reality of his phobia in a harm-free experience.
The act of physical fitness goes a long way in getting rid of panic attacks. In this case, cardiovascular and aerobic exercises are encouraged as they help to reduce the symptoms of panic attacks.
Aerobic exercises include; running, jogging, swimming, etc. and they help to relax tensed muscles. It encourages the body to release endorphins – the happy hormone.
5. Meditation and yoga
Meditation can never be overemphasized in the act of better living. It helps to clear the mind of unnecessary life cares, increase productivity and efficiency, decrease physical and emotional effects of stress etc.
It helps people who are Melanophobic to focus their attention on what is important and not on life problems.
Yoga focuses on harmonizing the body and the mind. Yoga increases muscle strength and tone, which gets rid of the fatigue that could be experienced by Melanophobics.
It also improves respiration, energy, and vitality, which alleviates breathlessness and reduces panic attacks. It also helps in maintaining a balanced metabolism and cardio and circulatory health. It also reduces the tendency of falling into depression.
6. Psychiatric medications
- Use of Anti-anxiety meds: Due to panic attacks experienced by Melanophobics, some Anti-anxiety medications recommended include: Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin, etc. These drugs are not to be taken on a daily basis or abused when the phobia is not severe. Your health care provider should be consulted before the purchase and consumption of these drugs to avoid abuse and also to get qualified recommendations.
- Use of Anti-depressants: Anti-depressants are not only taken by people who experience depression but also it is taken by people who experience Panic attacks. It helps to reduce the symptoms of the melanophobia. Recommended Anti-depressants include Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, etc. These drugs are not to be taken on a daily basis or abused when the phobia is not severe. Your health care provider should be consulted before the purchase and consumption of these drugs to avoid abuse and also to get a qualified recommendation.
Also, as Anti-depressants that these drugs are, when abused, could cause similar effects to panic attacks such as nausea, vomit, blurred vision, fatigue and drowsiness, insomnia, dry mouth, etc.
Your fears are not beyond your control. Try to seek help when it’s early, and If you know anyone around you with a severe phobia that it affects their day to day activities, then help them find the help they need.
In as much as the professionals are trained to help you with your phobias, that cannot be fully achieved without your cooperation and support. Also, try to involve family members and friends when you feel your phobia is getting beyond your control or worse.
This is because their encouragement and support go a long way in helping to get rid of a phobia. We hope that you have benefited from this article.
If yes, kindly leave unbiased comments and suggestions below. Also, remember to look out for other phobias here to learn more about them. We look forward to hearing from you.