Thai boys rescued from cave likely to be ‘more clingy, aggressive’ – psychologist

Long Lunch 11/07/2018
Photo credit: File.

After the successful rescue of 12 Thai boys and their football coach from Tham Luang cave, attention now turns to their well-being and their dealings with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Some of the Wild Boar football team were trapped inside the cave system for 17 days.

Child psychologist Dr Emma Woodward told RadioLIVE’s Wendyl Nissen the experience will leave an impact on the boys.

“The key will be now helping them to get back to some sense of normality and reconcile the event with themselves – and they’re going to be heavily reliant on their families, friends and communities to be able to do that.”

Dr Woodward explained some of the PTSD symptoms the boys may express to their families.

“They’ll be a little bit more clingy, irritable, aggressive – things that kind of remind them of the event will trigger flashbacks and nightmares,” she told RadioLIVE.

“They might stop eating, then withdrawals from their families and from other people will be a big indicator that Post Traumatic Stress is kind of affecting them, and also going over and over the event in their head."

But Dr Woodward says she is more concerned for the coach’s well-being.

“Whether he overly takes responsibility for taking the kids down there [the cave], even though we know that he put his own well-being above the kids to try and keep them well and safe while he was there.

“This will have a big impact on him too as the adult who was responsible for them,” Dr Woodward told RadioLIVE.

Listen to the full interview with Dr Emma Woodward above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.