A life without fear: an American made brave by forced brain surgery

A life without fear: an American made brave by forced brain surgery

Categories: Health and Medicine

Fear is a completely normal feeling for a person, inextricably linked with the instinct of self-preservation. But sometimes fear takes up too much space in life and makes it unbearable. 32-year-old Jody Smith (Jody Smith) from New York was once afraid of everything: dogs, aggressive people, spiders, infections and most importantly-death. But it all ended 4 years ago, when the guy had brain surgery. Now Smith is not afraid of anything and finally began to live as he likes.

A life without fear: an American made brave by forced brain surgery

Since childhood, Jody Smith has been plagued by fears and panic attacks. The attacks caught up with him in the most harmless situations, poisoning his life and making him a laughing stock in the eyes of others. But most of all, he was afraid of death – this fear could come at any time of the day and exhaust the guy for hours. Perhaps it was because when Jody was a child, his father and older brother died tragically.

A life without fear: an American made brave by forced brain surgery

At the age of 26, everything became even worse – panic attacks and fears were added to the attacks of epilepsy. One day, Smith became ill during a family meal. He got up from the table, went out into the courtyard, and fainted. No one saw him, so the man did not receive timely help. He crawled around the neighbor's yard for 20 minutes and only by a miracle did not harm himself.

After that, Jody turned to specialists in the field of neurology, who prescribed him a powerful drug. After two years of taking medication, it became clear that the fears remained, and the epilepsy attacks did not become less frequent. Then the doctors offered Smith surgery.

In order for the doctors to be able to identify the problem area of the brain, the guy had to walk around for some time with the probes implanted in the brain. It was necessary to wait for an attack of epilepsy and localize the problem. As luck would have it, the disease had temporarily receded and Smith could not have caused the attack even on purpose. He didn't sleep for days, listened to metal at maximum volume, and even drank horse-sized doses of beer on the doctor's advice, but it was all in vain.

A life without fear: an American made brave by forced brain surgery

Not waiting for an epileptic attack, the surgeons decided to act at random – they removed Smith's right amygdala and right hippocampus. This is the area of the brain where the information responsible for fear is processed, and the chance of making Jody fearless was quite high. And so it turned out – the effect did not come immediately, but it was obvious and very pleasant for the guy.

Two weeks after the surgery, Jody suddenly realized that he no longer felt the thrill of being in the company of strangers, that he was comfortable even with very large spiders, and that he didn't sweat when he stood on a third-floor balcony. Further – more. Smith began hiking in the mountains and he really liked that his knees no longer tremble at the most bottomless abysses.

A life without fear: an American made brave by forced brain surgery

And one evening, a group of young people moved towards the guy, who were clearly determined to rob Smith. But even then, Jody was completely cool and just walked through the crowd of startled hooligans with a completely impassive face. 

A life without fear: an American made brave by forced brain surgery

Someone may think that the absence of fear is dangerous for a person, because if he is not afraid, he is capable of rash and risky actions. But the doctors think otherwise – they say that Smith is no more at risk than any other guy his age. Yes, he has no fear, but the brain surgery has not affected his intelligence and Jody is aware of the consequences of his actions.

Keywords: Health and medicine | Operations | Surgery | Brain | Spiders | Fear | Nightmares | News of the day

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