The New Arabia Felix

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Justin Thomas

Document Type

Book Chapter

Source of Publication

Psychological Well-Being in the Gulf States

Publication Date



The World Health Organization (2010) describes mental health as ‘a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community’ (p. 1). In spite of this positive definition, most ‘mental health’ research to date has focused on the exploration of what we variously describe as mental illnesses, psychological complaints, or psychiatric disorders. In exploring psychological well-being across the Arabian Gulf States, we are forced — at present — to take a similarly negative and rather narrow view, where psychological well-being is essentially synonymous with the absence of psychological disorder. Regional explorations of more positive psychological concepts, such as savouring and flourishing, are at present in their infancy. However, what we do have are more than three decades’ worth of regional research, exploring a variety of psychological problems across all six Arabian Gulf States.


Palgrave Macmillan UK

Last Page



Medicine and Health Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access