The Jeff Wise Blog

7 Responses

  1. Arthur Marshall says:

    Hi Jeff, I came across your info in a Google search for “fear on one side of my body.” Sounds peculiar, right? Let me explain what I mean by that–I do not mean that I fear something that is located on the right or on the left side of my body. Rather, I fear something that is of global threat to me (in my case, malignant melanoma that may have spread to my liver) but I feel that fear only on my right side (this has nothing to do with the fact that the liver is on the right side.) The fear causes this burning ache which I feel in the right side of my face and eye and which I can feel all the way to my knee–I can taste the fear–it is metallic in taste. Ever heard of such a thing?


    Arthur Marshall MD

    Miami, Florida

    • Jeff Wise says:

      Hi Arthur,
      You know, I haven’t ever heard of anything remotely like that. Though it has shades of synesthesia. So you’re experiencing the fear both as a taste and as a physical pain on your skin? Let me ask some people who might know. Tell me this: a) do you know you have malignant melanoma, or you just fear that you do? b) does this physical sense of fear come and go, or is it constant? c) Have you ever experienced unusual symptoms like this, or other uncommon physical sensations such as synesthesia, before? d) How old are you?
      Thanks for writing in.

  2. Mary Grady says:

    Hi Arthur, I actually heard a similar story from a friend in grad school, years ago. His own theory was that he had experienced something traumatic in a former life that somehow affected that side of his body. He also had impaired hearing on the same side, so maybe that had something to do with it.

    I know what you mean by the burning and the metallic taste. I’ve had a similar reaction a few times when a totally irrational kind of purely physical fear creeps into me, when crossing a bridge or walking near a cliff edge. It doesn’t happen all the time, and it is clearly irrational since I am in no real danger, but there it is. I’ve wondered if, like my friend’s theory, if it some kind of residual echo from a former life, or maybe (more scientifically) something embedded in our DNA, like our fear of snakes.

  3. yoko says:

    You ought to be making more videos Mr Wise.

  4. Jeff Wise says:

    I just “stumbledupon” this and I nearly crapped myself. MY NAME IS JEFF WISE!!!

    Interesting video/ blog though.

    Keep it up,
    Jeff Wise

    • Jeff Wise says:

      We are a noble breed, we Jeff Wises. Thanks for your note! There are quite a few of us around. The head of publicity at Stowe Mountain in Vermont is a JW, and so is the head of the National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC. There’s also a successful movie agent in LA. So, congrats on your distinguished moniker! 🙂

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Thinking About Fear & the Brain

If I find myself in a severe crisis, will I be able to keep it together? How can I control anxiety and panic? Is it possible to lead a life less bounded by fear? These are the sorts of questions that I'll be exploring in this blog, an offshoot of my book, Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger, published on December 8, 2009 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Video Introduction

Also by Jeff Wise

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