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Trapped Chilean Miners' Community

Dr James Thompson, a senior psychology lecturer at University College London, says he would expect the "sheer relief and happiness of getting out will carry them over the next few weeks". But after that, he says, depression or other symptoms could catch up with them.

"It could be the memories of the event still cause them sleepless nights, that their sleep is disturbed, that they find themselves thinking of the event very, very frequently," he says.

"There will be things that trigger thinking the event, feelings, smells - the smell of earth or the clanking of a drill," he says.

"They will find to their surprise that even though they are out of the mine, they will feel that physically they are still in it.  If they've had a feeling of the probability of dying… there will be an enourmous amount of emotional tension."....

But psychologists say the solidarity between the miners, who have had to team up underground for their own survival, would most likely help the recovery process.

"If people experience adversity and they share it, then that's how you get through," says Dr Christopher Findlay, a psychiatrist specialising in trauma. He says the miners' time underground may have given some a chance to process some of their ordeal.

- Olivia Lang, "Will life ever be the same for Chilean miners?", BBC News, October 12, 2010