The Internal War of Anxiety and Depression—Insights From the Making of CODEX

Spies, propaganda, demoralization campaigns, corruption of communications: the hallmarks of war exist in the minds of those battling anxiety and depression. Richard Jacobs explains each in detail.

He also shares an insight from David Parker’s book titled The More You Do, the Better You Feel: How to Overcome Procrastination and Live a Happier Life, explaining how and why procrastination is often tangled up in depression and anxiety.

Anxiety and depression are multifactorial, which makes true understanding harder to grasp, and effective treatment seem impossible. This is what CODEX for Anxiety and Depression can change.

Learn more about CODEX and how you can help by visiting

Hello, this is Richard Jacobs, executive director of the Finding Genius Foundation and host of the Finding Genius podcast. As promised, I’m continuing to take you on my journey of discovery as I learn more about anxiety and depression and as we work towards making this codex, this curated guide of thousands of peer reviewed articles, videos, interviews, books, etc. everything on depression and anxiety and how to treat depression and anxiety in all it’s forms and not only treat it but come along illnesses and problems that come along with it. So, what I learned today, this thing is very interesting that I want to relay to you. I did a wonderful interview with a guy named David Parker. He is the author of The More You Do, The Better You Feel. Now, we are going to have a link to buy the book below. We don’t make any money on it.

I just want to do this for David, promote the book for anyone listening to help themselves. David talks about what’s called the JOT method, Just One Task. So, David, I learned in the interview suffers from procrastination, bad procrastination where you can’t even get off the couch to do anything but there’s like multi-dishes laying all over you, I imagine, where’s there’s a stack of mail outside your door, where the lawn is uncut, where you are filthy and dirty and haven’t showered in 3 weeks and on and on and on. So, David was at this level for a time. he had, with his friend’s help begun a diary of his feelings like a depression and anxiety journal which I’m starting to think is a fantastic idea. What he noticed was that his procrastination was really like, he was entangled in his depression and his anxiety.

So, what I mean by this is when he’d be really depressed, it made him not want to do things. What happened is since he procrastinated, he didn’t do things, he felt bad about himself and then he said bad things to himself. So, it was like a self-reinforcing downwards spiral. I’m starting to learn that it’s no wonder that depression and anxiety is so hard to battle and it’s no wonder that just popping a pill is unlikely to fix it at all because it’s so multi-factorial. A great analogy is it’s like being in war and here is why. You have propaganda which is your brain and your mind telling you things that are not true like you are stupid, you are worthless, what’s the point, those kinds of things that propaganda can be constant at times and very loud. There are spies; so there are spies or double agents meaning you or your brain turning against yourself. Your life experiences that you know all about, speaking to yourself about them in a negative way and downplaying your victories and highlighting your failures.

So, there are spies in this war, there is a constant demoralization campaign that goes on from you, yourself but sometimes unfortunately from loved ones, just get over it. What’s wrong with you, stop it, why do you have this bad attitude, you are no fun to be around and on and on and on. There is a constant demoralization campaign, just like war that comes from many different directions. There is interception and corruption of communications. So, again, this goes right along with propaganda. Someone may say something to you that you may know. If you are in a depressed or an anxious state, you may interpret that message completely wrong, you may try to read the mind of the other person that you are interacting with and that you could be totally wrong. Why are you mad at me? You are always mad at me. Why are you yelling? Why this, why that. I know that you are cheating on me an on an on and on, that kind of thing.

These are all communications that have been corrupted. You are intercepting messages but they are all twisted and this is all part of the war. Yet there is more, so there is the fog of war. I’ve experienced this with my wife and my son. If you are in a bad way, if you are in a deep depression, deep anxiety, you just don’t hear what people are saying. It’s like, again, the fog of war. You can’t see where the shots are coming from, you can’t always see the enemy troops, they might be in the castle, who knows where they are. It’s also like being in a storm on a ship at sea that is tossing and turning in the waves. You can’t see land; you can’t see anything because the rain is so intense and the dark clouds and the ship is pitching back and forth.

But someone that is not depressed is standing on the shore I the sunlight looking and everything looks normal. They see this ship with a raincloud above it tossing and turning and just about to sink in the ocean, that’s you, if you are anxious and depressed. The person on the shore is the person that knows you and has to interact with you when you are in that state. So, I know I’m throwing out all kinds of disparate things here but I’m realizing again, depression and anxiety is like literally being inside a war zone and has all the hallmarks of it, as I said and then, I’m also learning that there are other factors that keep people in anxiety, keep people in depression and worse it and just pull them back down into the pit  no matter how much they try to struggle out. So, those are things I learned today like procrastination.

So, again, if you are anxious or depressed or tired or you don’t feel good or you are angry or whatever, you don’t want to get stuff done, I understand but that turns to procrastination. Maybe you just watch movies all day to make yourself feel better and you get no work done. But that ends to not getting stuff done. That becomes a loss of self-worth, then that puts you into further depression because now you are going to say bad things to yourself because you are failing and not doing a good job. So, anyway, I wanted to highlight these things today. Like I said, I’m taking you on the journey with me. I just have a good overriding feeling that my perception of anxiety and depression is really evolving and I think this is going to be a hugely impactful project. So, whether you are on the board, whether you are just a listener to the podcast, whether you are on the Finding Genius Foundation list, I just want to recap that this is what’s going on and take you on my journey with me.

Internal War of Anxiety and Depression

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