What is an UrbanWarrior?

Urban Warriors are individuals who have experienced and overcome significant adversities in their lives. Specifically, people fighting to overcome or learning to cope with their experience of mental illness or disability. People struggling against the tsunami wave of systemic discrimination, prejudice, stigmatization, social marginalization and exclusion. We are all Urban Warriors! Fighting to survive in this system! Urban Warriors is a blogspace dedicated to the experience of psychiatric and physical disabilities.

I aim to highlight the inspirational stories and positive character attributes of individuals who have recovered from a mental illness. To illuminate the possible and compare individual narratives. Everyones experience of mental illness is unique and by sharing narratives we can discover alternative treatments and find solace in our shared experiences.

My personal research and study interests are in: mental health; the role of the psycho-social and economic factors on recovery; the stigmatization of psychiatric disorders; how bullying and social marginalization influences suicide; the impact of poverty or lack of opportunities on wellbeing and health; the treatment of depression and mood disorders; personality disorders and interpersonal relationships; neuroplasticity; criminology, forensic psychology and the rehabilitation of offenders*. I am interested in sharing educational and research material on mental illness and exploring personal narratives from individuals living with mental illness.

I have started a separate blog for Urban Warriors and this will be administrated from May 2015 – it is http://www.urbanlifewarriors.org

If you are experiencing mental illness or living with a disability please join me at Urban Life Warriors and share your thoughts and engage with other people.

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Reflecting on my personal experiences with psychological disorders (depression & anxiety) I am 100% a passionate pursuer of changing toxic relationships and environments before medicating. In my case 9 times out of 10 i found it was my environment more than “faulty cognitions” which was making me sick! Get rid of toxic people! Free yourself from toxic relationships and environments! Then work hard to turn your dreams into your reality! Your happiness is in your hands! Make it happen! image(disclaimer: to all the politically correct intellectuals – remember this is a blog and these are shared experiences. Of course in a practice setting I would take a humanistic approach combined with empirically researched effective treatments such as cognitive Behavioural therapy where beneficial. A humanist approach allows us to view the whole person, to accommodate individually determined needs inherent in our clients rather then imposing any one particular researched intervention strategy. It is important to consider individual differences from case to case – where yes in many cases medication is 100% necessary such as in an acute phase of a bipolar II episode).

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Suicide in Australia I am passionate about preventative strategies for youth suicide. In Australia, 2,535 individuals deaths were recorded for Intentional self-harm (suicide) in 2012 (ABS, 2014). Suicide is ranked as the 14th leading cause of all deaths. Three-quarters (75.0%) of people who died by suicide were male, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for males (ABS, 2014). Suicide is a preventable death and we are not doing enough as a society or within our communities. We need to reach out to vulnerable individuals contemplating suicide in our workplaces, schools and families. Coupled with a culture of bullying and harassment many Australians are isolated and left to their own depleted resources – often weakened by depression or mental illness without the clarity or ability to see beyond their current state.

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