MENTAL HEALTH AND
Disparity between Arab Perception and Western Treatment
• Mental Health - What is it?
• Comparisonof Perception and Treatment between Western
and Arab Culture of Mental Health Illnesses
• Cross Effects of Religion/Gender/Language
• Effects of Temporality
• Islam- Pertaining to the religious teachings found in the Qur’an or historical records of
• Muslim- Pertaining to Islamic culture but not always rooted in Islamic practice. (Ex. Arabesque
architecture of Synagogue)
• Arab Descent (Geographic)- Genealogical origins are linked to Northern Africa (Algeria, Egypt,
Morocco) and Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Iran, U.A.E.)
• Idioms- Expressions rooted in one’s culture whose meaning doesn’t come from the words
themselves (Ex. Raining cats and dogs)
• Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis- The idea that a person’s linguistic background affects their perception of
• Dilemma of Assimilation- Series of conﬂicts arising when one’s past culture is different form their
new location, resulting in a choice between maintenance and abandonment of cultural attitudes.
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?
• Mental Illness- Psychiatric or behavioral patterns not expected within developmental or cultural
norms. (Ex. Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia)
• Neurotransmitters- Chemicals in the brain that relay messages within the nervous system. (Ex.
• Psychotherapy- Use of psychological practices to modify or eliminate a mental illness without
drugs/surgery. (Ex. Talk, music, or art therapy)
• Psychologist vs. Psychiatrist- Psychologists do not prescribe drugs and often use psychotherapy to
• Problems with agreement and classiﬁcation- DSM vs. International Statistical Classiﬁcation
• Western Perceptions of Mental Health
• Arab Perceptions of Mental Health
• Familial/Marital Obligations
• Western Expectations?
• Western Methods?
• Arab Expectation
• Arab Methods
• Fulﬁlling Roles
• Conﬂict with Western Treatment
ANALYSIS WITHIN SCOPE OF
• How do they interact?
• Religion and Gender
• Gender and Language
• Religion and Language
• Proximity of Therapist
• Passage of Time
• Effect on Beliefs
• Perception of Time
• Western vs. Arab
• Distance and Time
• Questions left-
• What happens when Arab treatment fails?
• What current research has been done?
• What education methods are put in place?
• How will the war affect their perception of mental health?
• Cultural education
• Establishing guidelines for open-minded therapists
• Consensus on Illness and what is normal
• Effect of stigmas outside of mental health
education offers treatment help, but don’t expect a
change in perception
• The need to break the cycle
• Personal mental health views
Alansari, Bader M. 2005. "RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN EIGHTEEN ARAB COUNTRIES: A
CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY." Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal 33, no. 5: 503-512. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2010).
Al-Krenawi, Alean, and John R. Graham. 2000. "Culturally Sensitive Social Work Practice With Arab Clients in Mental Health Settings." Health & Social Work 25, no. 1: 9-22.
Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2010).
Canino, Glorisa, and Margarita Alegría. 2008. "Psychiatric diagnosis – is it universal or relative to culture?." Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry 49, no. 3: 237-250. Academic
Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed March 30, 2010).
Dwairy, Marwan. 2009. "Culture analysis and metaphor psychotherapy with Arab-Muslim clients." Journal of Clinical Psychology 65, no. 2: 199-209. Academic Search Premier,
EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2010).
Gaebel, W., H. Z. and Anja E. Baumann. 2006. "The relationship between mental illness severity and stigma." Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 113, 41-45. Academic Search
Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2010).
Hall, Ronald, and Jonathan Livingston. 2006. "Mental Health Practice with Arab Families: The Implications of Spirituality vis-à-vis Islam." American Journal of Family Therapy 34,
no. 2: 139-150. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2010).
Hays, Danica G., Elizabeth A. Prosek, and Amy L. McLeod. 2010. "A Mixed Methodological Analysis of the Role of Culture in the Clinical Decision-Making Process." Journal of
Counseling & Development 88, no. 1: 114-121. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2010).
Karam, Elie G, Zeina N Mneimneh, Aimee N Karam, John A Fayyad, Soumana C Nasser, Somnath Chatterji, and Ronald C Kessler. 2006. "Prevalence and treatment of mental
disorders in Lebanon: a national epidemiological survey." Lancet 367, no. 9515: 1000-1006. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2010).
Okasha, A. 2003. "MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN THE ARAB WORLD." Arab Studies Quarterly 25, no. 4: 39-52. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2,
Sayed, Mohamed A. 2003. "CONCEPTUALIZATION OF MENTAL ILLNESS WITHIN ARAB CULTURES: MEETING CHALLENGES IN CROSS-CULTURAL SETTINGS."
Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal 31, no. 4: 333. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2010).
Sayed, Mohamed A. 2003. "Psychotherapy of Arab Patients in the West: Uniqueness, Empathy, and "Otherness." American Journal of Psychotherapy 57, no. 4: 445-459. Academic
Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2010).