Color Therapy for Psychiatric Disorders
Color, light or phototherapy using single or mixed colors, sometimes from a laser, may be shined on the whole body or on particular chakras. The Luscher Color Test is said to indicate mood and personality. Silks colored with natural dyes, meditation and breathing exercises may be used. Solarized water, color cards or a light box or lamp with colored filters is sometimes included as a part of treatment. Ocular Light Therapy, in which light is projected through colored filters into the eyes, is sometimes used in people with psychological disorders. Colored light therapy, Colorpuncture and Chromopressure are emerging techniques.
Scientific evidence is lacking for color therapy. Color therapy is different from conventional ultraviolet light phototherapy, which is used to treat high bilirubin blood levels in infants and skin disorders such as acne or psoriasis. Light therapy is used to treat seasonal affective disorder.
|Aggressive or hostile behavior|
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
Dyslexia and other reading disabilities
Enhanced athletic performance
High or low blood pressure
Improved academic performance and IQ
Seasonal affective disorder
The information in this monograph was prepared by the professional staff at Natural Standard, based on thorough systematic review of scientific evidence. The material was reviewed by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School with final editing approved by Natural Standard.
Selected Scientific Studies: Color TherapyNatural Standard reviewed more than 40 articles to prepare the professional monograph from which this version was created.
Some of the more recent studies are listed below:
- Anderson J. The effect of colour on the severity of migraine symptoms. Brain/Mind Bull 1990;4(15):1.
- Barber CF. The use of music and colour theory as a behaviour modifier. Br J Nurs 1999;8(7):443-448.
- Cocilovo A. Colored light therapy: overview of its history, theory, recent developments and clinical applications combined with acupuncture. Am J Acupunct 1999;27(1-2):71-83.
- Deppe A. Ocular light therapy: a case study. Aust J Holist Nurs 2000;7(1):41.
- Evans BJ, Patel R, Wilkins AJ, et al. A review of the management of 323 consecutive patients seen in a specific learning difficulties clinic. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 1999;19(6):454-466.
- Geldschlager S. Osteopathic versus orthopedic treatments for chronic epicondylopathia humeri radialis: a randomized controlled trial. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 2004;Apr, 11(2):93-97.
- Maher CG. Effective physical treatment of chronic low back pain. Orthop Clin North Am 2004;Jan, 35(1):57-64.
- Ohara M, Kawashima Y, Kitajima s, et al. Inhibition Of lung metastasis of B16 melanoma cells exposed to blue light in mice. Int J Molecular Medicine 2002;10(6):701-705.
- Schauss AG. Tranquilizing effect of colour reduces aggressive behaviour and potential violence. J Orthomol Psych 1979;4(8):218-221.
- Schauss AG. The physiological effect of colour on the suppression of human aggression, research on Baker-Miller Pink. Int J Biosoc Res 1985;2(7):55-64.
- Wileman SM, Eagles JM, Andrew JE, et al. Light therapy for seasonal affective disorder in primary care: randomised controlled trial. Br J Psych 2001;178:311-316.
- Wohlfarth H. The effects of colour psychodynamic environmental modification on disciplinary incidences in elementary schools over one school year. Int J Biosocial Res 1984;1(6):44-53.
- Wohlfarth H. The effects of colour psychodynamic environmental modification on absences due to illness in elementary schools: a controlled study. Int J Biosocial Res 1984;1(6):54-61.
- Wohlfarth H. The effects of colour psychodynamic environmental colour and lighting modification of elementary schools on blood pressure and mood: a controlled study. Int J Biosocial Res 1985;1(7):9-16.
- Wohlfarth H, Schultz A. The effect of colour psychodynamic environment modification on sound levels in elementary schools. Int J Biosocial Res 2002;(5):12-19.
The year 1931 stands out in the history of research about mentally ill people's favourite colours. That summer, Siegfried E Katz of the New York state psychiatric institute and hospital published a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology called Colour Preference in the Insane.
Assisted by a Dr Cheney, Katz tested 134 hospitalised patients with mental health problems. For simplicity's sake, he limited the testing to six colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. No black. No white. No shades of grey.
"These colours," he wrote, "rectangular in shape, one and one-half inches square, cut from Bradley coloured papers were pasted in two rows on a grey cardboard. They were three inches apart. The colours were numbered haphazardly and the number of each colour placed above it. The cardboard was presented to the patient and he was asked to place his finger on the number of the colour he liked best. After he had made the choice he was asked in a similar manner for the next best colour, and so on."
Some of the patients "cooperated well", and made six choices. Others, Katz reported, "quickly lost interest and made only one, two or three".
Blue was the most popular colour. Men, in the aggregate, then favoured green, but women patients were divided on green, red or violet as a second choice.
Patients who had resided in the hospital for three or more years were slightly less emphatic about blue. Katz says these long-term guests were "those with most marked mental deterioration". Their preference, as a group, shifted towards green and yellow.
Those of longest tenure, though few in number, had a slightly elevated liking for orange.
The report is packed with titbits that beg, even now, for further analysis:
· 38% of schizophrenics and manic depressives, each, gave first preference to blue, and 42% of all other patients
· Green received the first choice from 16% of schizophrenics, 9% of manic depressives, and 13% of other diseases
· For red as first choice, the percentage of votes were: manic depressives, 16; other diseases, 15; schizophrenics, 12. As second choice, they were: manic depressives, 22; schizophrenics, 18; other diseases, 13
· Orange and yellow were also best liked by manic depressives; green by schizophrenics; and violet by all others.
Katz foresaw practical applications for his research. He suggested that "in the furnishings of living quarters the selection of colours pleasing to special groups of patients might be worth consideration".
Consciously or not, hospital staff seem to have followed Katz's insights in fashioning their personal at-work appearance. The evocatively named Bragard Medical Uniforms, a New York firm founded in 1933, now publishes a list of the most popular uniform colours. The list currently is topped by, in order: royal blue; dark grey (which, alas, Katz excluded from his 1931 survey); dark green; and red.
Women Personality and Mental Health
Colors would give pretty much influence in our mood or feeling. Bright colors could cheer us up, while the dark ones would bring a sense of gloomy and sometimes boredom.Carl Jung, a well-known psychologist used to say: “Individuals response to color is too complex to allow a simple mode of interpretation. But, I believe there is a relationship between color and personality.”
So what your favorite color tells about you? Perhaps this article will help you find out about it.
Black reflects power and authority. It traces strictness and hardness in compromising. Girls who favor black are mostly dominant person, like arranging and managing, and always demand for respect, stubborn, and high prided.
Beneath those negative traits, their positive point is: they are not cheap ones. They are an independent character, have firm consistency, and usually smart.
White usually symbolizes something pure and clean. But in daily life white could represent a piece of canvas that reflects other colors, from the bright to the dark ones.
Girls who prefer white are normally innocent. They are soft-hearted and unquestionably sincere. The lack of girls who love the color white is that they intend to be sensitive, easily hurt and difficult to cure. They are vengeful and quite indecisive.
This color is closely related to emotions. Girls who like the color red are usually friendly, cheerful, lovely, courageous and even tended to be reckless. They love to do anything that makes their heart beat very fast.
The bad side is, those who like red are ‘explosive’. They could be super-furious when they are angry, and super-dramatic when they are sad.
What about the pink-lovers? The basic characters aren’t very different with the red-lovers. But as an additional, averagely, girls who love pink are romantic.
Cool and peaceful. Those are the reflections of the color blue. So do the girls who love it. The first impression when seeing a ‘blue’ girl, we would likely think they intend to be cool and difficult to approach. But once you get to know them, you would realize that ‘blue’ girls are cool and could cause peacefulness to the ones around them.
They don’t like to confront. It’s a good point in one side. But in the other side, the blue lovers keep things to themselves which later could cause depression.
Green means natural. It indicates serenity, calmness and freshness, just like the girls who favor it. They intend to be calm either in the way they speak or in their attitude, always look fresh and would give the same effect of freshness to the atmosphere around them. They are rarely offended or irritated, yet very forgiving.
Their lack is, they are quite conservative. Holding on traditions tightly and have strong believe in myth or other mystical things.
Cheerful, talkative, and have a good sense of humor, they love a good laugh, and always do bizarre things. Girls who like yellow rarely grieve; they don’t like to be in a gloomy situation. They are very energetic, that their spirit is always overflowing.
The bad side of yellow-lovers is that they are often losing control. Hasty in making decisions, careless, which in the end would likely cause trouble to themselves.
Purple is a color of royalty, luxury, wealth, and sophistication. Those pretty much reflect the personality of purple-lovers. Their bad sides are, they tend to be material-oriented, and they love classy plus expensive things. That’s why, in socializing, they are quite disliked, because they are quite conceited and choosy in making friends.
The good sides of purple-lover girls are they are super-feminine and super-romantic. They always adore their men, and always willing to pamper them.
Brown is the color of soil/ground, which represents something solid. Girls who love this color are mostly hard-tempered and selfish.
They hold on tightly to what they believe, eventhough it’s something unacceptable to others, for they think differently compared to other people.
The lack of girls who love brown is they tend to be childish. When they fail in an argument, they will run away and stay gloomily on their own for some times, and hide themselves from others.
The positive side, they are quite motherly. They would be willing to do anything to protect and please the ones they love.
Those who choose orange as a favorite hue are usually a bit flamboyant. They are kind and well liked, but tend to be a bit overdramatic. Though they try to be accommodating and agreeable, others find them a bit indecisive. They are fearless and strong and this will translate into their life’s accomplishments. Relationships and love can be a bit intense for them, as they tend to over dramatize even the smallest situations.
Those who are drawn to grey tend to have difficulty making decisions. They are cautious and hardworking, sometimes to the point of exhaustion. They prefer balance and normalcy in their life and on some occasions withdraw from the company of others. In love, favoring grey usually means that you are non-committal and indecisive.