See More on Facebook

Opinion

Ease trapped boys back into normal life

A child psychologist offers advice on easing the cave-trapped boys in Thailand back into normal life while they await rescue.


Written by

Updated: July 4, 2018

A psychiatrist who specialises in child and adolescent issues offered guidelines on Wednesday by which the 12 young footballers trapped in the Chiang Rai cave can avoid lingering trauma over their ordeal.

Dr Wimonrat Wanpen, deputy director of the Rajanagarindra Institute for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, said the earliest signs were good, based on the brief conversation the youngsters had with the British cave rescue experts who found them and videotaped the encounter.

The boys seemed happy, she said, but nothing else can be concluded at this stage.

Their mental condition after days of being trapped in the dark, flooded cave could swing, Wimonrat said.

“While they were waiting for help, they might at times have felt angry at having to undergo such an ordeal and at other times despair, and then they’d become hopeful that help was on the way,” she said.

“They might have been mentally bargaining with themselves – ‘If I get out, I won’t do this or that and I’ll be good’ – or whatever. Children face different mental impacts because of their different backgrounds and emotional makeup.”

Once they’re brought out, the focus must be on their physical recovery, and their mental state can be addressed later, Wimonrat said.

By way of guidelines for their eventual treatment, she said they should not be asked repeatedly how awful they felt during the ordeal because it would force them to relive the trauma.

Youngsters rescued from dangerous situations naturally feel immense stress in the first month, but if the stress lingers beyond that, additional care would be needed.

She said it’s important to let the kids resume their normal lives, and for their families to also receive mental healthcare, since they might blame themselves for what happened.

The children’s access to social media should be controlled so they’re not overly exposed to public comments about them, even positive comments.

“These kids have undergone a difficult experience, so there’s no need to do any more teaching or preaching to them,” Wimonrat said.

“If you were in their shoes, having accidentally made a mistake that caused so many people a lot of trouble, you would already feel guilty and sorry enough. What the children have been through in the cave is sufficient lesson for them. They already know they made a mistake. This will be a great lesson for them.”



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Cod Satrusayang
About the Author: Cod Satrusayang is the Managing Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Opinion

Thais wont mobilize in protest even if junta wins elections.

Thailand’s ersatz elections will not bother most Thais even if army comes back to rule. Every country has their breaking point, where corruption, abuse and living standards reach a point where people are compelled to take to the streets and demand a change. Thailand’s breaking point appears to be much higher than most. After all, a decade of political infighting, street riots, and military crackdowns has made mass protest much less palatable for the common Thai. Despite this, the military seem to be doing their utmost to push the populace to their limit. Reports from early and overseas voters tell of an election deeply flawed with spoiled ballots, discounted votes and confusing polling procedures. Some votes have been disregarded altogether, including those that voted for the Thai Raksa Chat Party who was disqualified by the Election Commission for running a princess to be p


By Cod Satrusayang
March 20, 2019

Opinion

Dialogue important after India-Pakistan crisis

As India and Pakistan wake up to the real possibilities of war, it is time to give dialogue another chance. Although the 2019 India-Pakistan standoff may have passed its immediate intensity, it is clear that the entire episode has left a slew of new worries for policymakers all over the world. It is crucial that lessons are learnt and crisis-handling procedures between the two countries put in place. Because there is no doubt that Pakistan and India were perilously close to war. In a digital age, resonating with the red noise of alternative facts fuelled by ultra-nationalisms, it was clear that the Modi regime’s need to bolster its flagging electoral ratings before an election took the Indian act of border incursion into Pakistan’s Ba


By Dawn
March 15, 2019

Opinion

Time for trusting Thai junta coming to an end

After four years of military rule, the military’s credibility is at an all time low. By the time the military holds elections on March 24, Thailand will have spent 1,767 days under military rule. During that time, dissent has been suppressed, freedom of expression has eroded, the press has been attacked publicly and privately by the government and the population will not have had a single say in matters of governance. And yet a constant mantra that the military has chanted throughout that time has been the almost paternalistic “trust me.” “Trust me, I am replacing the democratically-elected government for the good of the people.” “Trust me, we need to lessen criticism of the junta for unity’s sake.” “Trust me, this constitution is necessary to have elections.” “Trust me, we will hold an election within a year.”


By Cod Satrusayang
March 7, 2019

Opinion

Freedom’s limits

China President Xi Jinping will have to countenance a major challenge at this week’s meeting of the “Two Sessions”. China has reached a critical juncture and President Xi Jinping ~ permanently at the helm of the party and government ~ will have to countenance a major challenge at this week’s meeting of the “Two Sessions”, so-called. Thousands of delegates will congregate at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during the two weeks of meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), an advisory body. It is a measure of the brewing tension that the authorities have gone on overdrive to muffle the faintest dissent; there is for instance a public warning against what they call “over-the-top praise” and robust condemnation. While this may be concordant with traditional Communist praxis, remarkable too must be the fact that the syste


By The Statesman
March 7, 2019

Opinion

OP ED: Moon Jae-In writes about ASEAN before his visit to the region

South Korean – ASEAN ties important as Moon makes his visit to the region. Next week, I will be making state visits to Brunei, Malaysia and Cambodia. I am very pleased that ASEAN member states will be the destination of my first overseas tour this year. I extend warm greetings of friendship from the citizens of the Republic of Korea to our ASEAN friends. ASEAN always reminds me of the sea that nurtured and raised me. I grew up in Busan, the largest port city of the Republic of Korea. My parents were displaced from their hometown, and it was the inclusiveness and understanding of those who lived with the sea that took in my impoverished family. From them, I was able to learn a lesson of courage and hope that no matter how harsh the storm and waves, we can weather them if we gather our strengths. Most ASEAN member states not only lie by the sea but also possess infinite wisdom and power stemming fro


By Moon Jae In
March 6, 2019

Opinion

Sino-US clash ‘won’t get you anywhere’

Op Ed in China Daily talks about possible economic ramification of US – Chinese confrontation. A confrontational China-US relationship does not benefit anyone because the interests of the two countries are deeply interwoven, Zhang Yesui, spokesman for the annual session of the National People’s Congress, said in Beijing on Monday. Asked at a news conference about Beijing’s response to Washington’s increasingly hard-line policy toward China, Zhang said, “It won’t get you anywhere to deal with new problems in the context of globalization with a Cold War mentality.” Zhang, a former vice-minister of foreign affairs, said China has a consistent and clear policy toward the United States. China is dedicated to having a relationship based on nonconflict, nonconfrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, he said, adding that China will also firmly safeguard its s


By China Daily
March 6, 2019