1. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    phobia.

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Vamp_fan22, May 24, 2011.

    Maybe this is a stupid idea, I don't know, but I have a new story idea in my head about a guy who has a phobia of the color white. I'm wondering what affect this would have on a 21 year old boy because the color white is pretty much everywhere. So I was wondering what kind of things he would avoid and how he is held back by this phobia and such, I know he doesn't read books and God forbid he should ever have to go to the hospital. This is probably a stupid idea and maybe I'm crazy, I don't know.
     
  2. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    Phobias are supposed to be comletely irrational. There are people who have crazier phobias: long words, chickens, clouds, standing up, and many more. A phobia of the colour white is totally possible. Doesn't matter whether it makes sense or not.

    However, I do understand that this would have a profound effect on a twenty-one year old boy. Anyone with a phobia usually tries to avoid the subject of their fears as often as possible. For example, a man who has a fear of elevators would rather walk a hundred flights of stairs than take the elevator. I imagine that this man with the phobia of white would take great caution in avoiding to have to look at anything white.

    If it snows, he will keeps his windows and blinds shut. Never mind going out.

    As long as he is conscious, he would adamantly refuse to go into a hospital.

    He wouldn't watch TV.

    He wouldn't go into the suburbs.

    I imagine he wouldn't like pale people.

    The list goes on for miles. He would have to be isolated, I guess. Then again, he probably would have gotten help for something like that. After all, that would greatly affect his life. I don't even think he would have friends. My two cents, though.
     
  3. Xynith
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    Xynith New Member

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    He would absolutely move to a place that did not have a winter season.
     
  4. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    White is absolutely everywhere, so maybe they would only be affected by pure white? Like, a piece of paper with writing on it would be okay, but a stack of blank paper would cause his palms to sweat. Or a pinstripe shirt wouldn't cause him too much angst, but he'd see a man in a white suit as a demon.
     
  5. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    It's a real phobia called leukophobia. I looked it up lol!
     
  6. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I must agree with this. From where I'm sitting, I can see 13 distinct plain white objects without turning my head. 14 if you count the text box I'm currently typing in. If he gets sweaty palms at every instance of the color white (if you want to call it a color), then you're going to have a hell of a time writing him in just about every scene you can think of. For your own sanity as well as his, I highly recommend putting some kind of limit on this phobia like those described above.

    It's either that, or make the story entirely about his leukophobia. Doable, but probably difficult.
     
  7. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd be more willing to understand the shade of green known as 'Celadon' (or perhaps Moss Green). It looks like the kind of colour that would adorn a mental hospital/ward.

    Either way, I can imagine that he would not be able to come within perhaps a few hundred feet of albinos without freaking out. Perhaps a character like such would spend a lot more time up at night, what with everything appearing to be so much darker. Of course, the downside would be that his skin would slowly get paler, adding to his own psychosis as he realises that he is becoming his fear.

    Of course, I'm getting too far ahead of myself.

    Good luck, is all I can say. (Perhaps you should walk around with a little notebook and make a list of all the white things you see so you can figure out what a person like him would need to replace in his own home, like plates and such?)
     
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  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    You know, I really like this. Him getting paler and paler.
     
  9. Xynith
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    Xynith New Member

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    I agree, that sounds like it would make an awesome character-versus-self gig.
     
  10. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I didn't get those ones... would you like to motivate them?

    I've got a couple of phobias myself and I know it's still possible to reason with oneself to make it possible to function normally around people, so to me it seems more realistic that he would avoid getting in close contact with or touching white things, like clothes, furnitures etc, because avoiding everything, even news papers (that aren't even white-white) and people dressing white and houses, books and everything with white visible would be impossible. even in this situation you realise if you go completely nuts about this phobia you will end up in hospital, and since that is the very last thing he wants he might try and reach some kind of compromise with himself to avoid that, because no one wants to be considere crazy, not even for the sake of avoiding your phobias, believe me. if not, of course, your story is going to be about his staying in hospital and have therapy for it...now in that case you can develop this as far as you like..
     
  11. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    Well, he actually is really pale, at least the guy I based his image off of is. He only developed the phobia a few years ago. I know I have to think of some traumatic situation that caused the phobia and I have a few ideas but I don't know if they are traumatic enough to cause something like this.
     
  12. Castle Pokemetroid
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    Castle Pokemetroid Member

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    Uh, near death experience with a white object? White car? Boat? Turned around and it looked like a wall of white was slamming directly into his body, causing every square inch of his very being to scream out in pain?

    Blinding flash, then falling off of a building, only to survive, and somehow fear the brightness that is the color white?
     
  13. Vamp_fan22
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    Vamp_fan22 Senior Member

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    Here are my ideas: when he was young he tried to drown himself in a bathtub(bathroom has lots of white in it.) He had a lot of trouble in school and was made fun of for being dumb and eventually dropped out (papers are white and he struggled with paperwork so...)
    A year ago he was in a very serious dirt bike accident and he almost died he remembers being in the hospital and being in and out of consciousness and just seeing the white ceiling and the white lights all around.
     
  14. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    ^ I like that idea. Having the color white associated with traumatic events in his life would certainly fuel a phobia. I also think he'd be a rather isolated character who would live in a place with no winter season.
     
  15. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't need a traumatic event to create a phobia, these are totally illogical and doesn't follow the normal rules of cause and effect of the normal life. you can have them, in fact I think most people do, without having suffered a trauma before it.
     
  16. Caldenfor
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    Caldenfor Member

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    He could always get a "Black Like Me" treatment.
     
  17. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Would he not simply wear tinted glasses, or am I missing something? Is it not that he can't look at white , does white somehow affect him in some other way?

    A lot of people that have trouble reading have to wear tinted glasses, something to do with the black and white contrast.

    Edit

    Out of curiosity I've just looked up leukophobia and the info page for sufferers had a white background.
     
  18. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    ... I want to Like that on Facebook. </offtopic>
     
  19. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    This.

    But besides the fact that there's an obvious solution, it sounds like a kinda cool idea.
     
  20. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    Except there's always a REASON people have every fear anyway, even if its not associated with a traumatic event.

    Such as mannequins and dolls. They almost appear to be humans without souls who may come to life and hurt you. The fact that they are almost human and not quite makes people afraid of them.

    Or insects. Insects we think of as gross and to be honest they are directly associated with decay and death. They are the living garbage cans of the world.

    Or ghosts. They bring out the fear of the unknown. We can't understand them or predict them or make sense of them. They can do anything. They are scary for this reason.

    It doesn't need to be a traumatic event, but there should be a reason for it if its going to be believable.

    Fears are irrational, but they always have some basis in truth, our instincts to survive make us afraid of the unknown (we can't protect ourselves from it) and insects (which relate to death).
     
  21. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Fears and phobias aren't the same thing. You can be afraid of snakes, because they're poisonous or weird looking or whatever, but that's not a phobia. A phobia is completely irrational, not caused by a trauma or resulting from any kind of logic. They're psychologically distinct.
     
  22. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    That's not truthful.

    I had someone close to me who had agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is a condition that in extreme cases, which the person I knew had, makes them terrified to leave the house. It was caused by trauma in the person's life and feeling like the world was out of control and out to hurt them. And it tends to be some kind of trauma that gives people that condition. And if you have ever seen someone have a panic attack who is agoraphobic then you know its more than just a little fear.

    I also knew someone who had a fear of ghosts killing them in their sleep. They developed this fear because people who used to judge them all the time died and they were certain that those people still watched them and that they deserved to die in their sleep because they had a guilt complex. They were scared to the point where they didn't sleep for a week straight because they were terrified to close their eyes.

    I have arachnophobia to the point where I can't even look at pictures of spiders without getting hysterical. Not only is it somewhat rational because, after all, a lot of spiders are poisonous and can harm you, but I also know it was caused by events. As a young toddler, I was not afraid of spiders, up until I was bitten by a very poisonous one and had to be rushed to the doctor's when my arm started swelling up.

    I also had that phobia of clowns when I was child. To the point where pictures of them used to terrify me and make me scream and cry. I read (and this makes sense to me because I had it and this is what it felt like for me) that the reason people get afraid of clowns is because they look like aliens, like some kind of vicious creature. There's something just wrong and unnatural about them and they don't resemble humans enough and it makes some people fearful. Also, my uncle had me watch a movie where the clowns were mean and evil, not to mention that I used to watch garfield and the clown was also evil in that show so I started associating clowns with bad.

    I could go on and on and on. When I gave the examples I did, I was TALKING about phobias, not just fears.

    Phobias aren't "rational" in the sense that people get afraid even when there's no danger around them, but they have some basis for them or slight truth to them that fuels the fear that the person with the phobia tends to be focused on.

    And fear of snakes is a phobia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophidiophobia

    Its called Ophidiophobia and I have it. I'm afraid of snakes even when there's no chance of them harming me, when they are in a cage, on the other side of the room, and won't actually bite me. I'm afraid of them squeezing me to death and also something about them just gives me the chills.

    Now, I won't completely rule out the possibility that some people might have a phobia that can't be explained at all and has no reason for it, but most of the time that isn't true. My friend with the fear of ghosts thought she had it for no reason until a therapist showed her otherwise and as soon as she dealt with the guilt complex, the fear went away.

    It's just that the point of an author is to make a story believable and I think that suspension of disbelief will be harder to achieve unless a reason is given for the main character to have such a strange phobia.
     
  23. Three
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    Three Member

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    Coloured sunglasses, dude. :D
     
  24. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's an irrational fear, which gives it the label of "phobia". Now, being afraid of snakes is not a phobia. Being afraid of snakes irrationally, like you are, is. If there's no chance of them harming you, yet you're still scared and worried to a potentially debilitating effect, then that would be a phobia.

    I'm terrified of snakes. They're dangerous, but if I see one, I get something to throw at it/kill it with. You pre much have to in Australia; we have the world's most deadly snakes. But even as terrified as I am of them, I know it's not irrational. I'm actually quite into some snakes aesthetically. I like seeing them in tanks and stuff.

    Which could serve a worse purpose, since the character would know that they were cheating themselves and may slowly become convinced that their vision is lying to them. Delicious.
     
  25. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    Except I agree with that and never said otherwise. I wouldn't tell people with phobias that they are totally rational and should continue to foster those phobias to protect themselves.

    He was saying that phobias have no CAUSE to them and I disagree. There's some bit of truth (bit of truth does not equal whole truth) or event or something else that gives people phobias so I think its a very good idea that some tragic events are what is supposed to have led to this guy having a fear of white. He didn't think so though.
     

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