Thinking of getting a pet bird. If you’ve owned one, how has it affected your PTSD?

keystonegirl

New Here
After having a rather acrimonious break-up of my relationship, I was feeling lonely. I guess you get used to having someone with you day and night. I've always wanted a bird; I had birds as a child; a parakeet, canary, and a pair of finches named Drs. Nip and Tuck. So I thought since I've taken care of birds in the past I'd like to get a female cockatiel. I think they are beautiful birds and can be very loving and funny. But since I've read the thread on pets and how they can affect ptsd, I'm not so sure now. I realize the posts were about dogs and cats, and everyone has different experiences with owing a pet in relation to their specific ptsd. But, in general, I just want to know if anyone has ever owned a bird and how it affected their ptsd. I don't want to get a bird only to discover it's too much for me. Thanx everyone . 🐦

P. S. I hope I posted this under the right forum subject.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
wow! ! ! it never occurred to me that my 40 odd birds could be bad for my ptsd. nor my 2 donkeys, dog and 4 barn cats. can you tell i live on a farm? i'm tempted to count my wild bunnies, too, but they would be hard to count. still our morning visits ground me like nothing else can. i think they keep asking me when they will get their daily chow service. eat grass, thumper.

personally, i've often wished for a macaw some other kind of parrot. i once met a macaw who was trained to answer the "dumb bird" insult with, "i can talk. can you fly?" a critter after my own heart. his owner chased me with a broom when i asked if i could take him home. literally. she loved her dumb bird.

listen to your own heart in your choice of therapy animal. whatever species you choose, the connection to the bioweb is grounding on high.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
We only have chickens and quail. I will say that the quail- who are in an aviary, make me sad. I love their sounds but I hate that they are ‘caged’ . Similarly I took care of a parrot for someone and it broke my heart . I let her have all the time I was at home and awake out of her cage but I hated putting her in her large cage. Several years ago now I was offered a pair of owls - and I decided the caged aspect made it too much negative over positive for me.

I think now I have pTSD - or have recognised that I do- those feelings about cages and the guilt I have if I sleep in a bit for my hens, or the winters with the avian flu restrictions we have here - it’s a lot- a lot of guilt and questioning my stance.

I guess it’s a question of how resolved you are in your position:) or how comf you are challenging yourself over it daily or many times daily. I often wish I just did not care . But still think we get eggs in the most ethical way .
 

DharmaGirl

MyPTSD Pro
My PTSD is better with my birds. I have a million chickens, um, actually about 70 but it feels like a million. They give me a reason to get up and pay attention to another being. I recommend pets for PTSD.
 

Roland

MyPTSD Pro
My sister has a bird and I **hate** it. It's a parakeet and it's very anxious and panic-flies all over the house and shits on every flat surfaces and she doesn't clean up after it.

That said, if you like birds or can find a calmer bird, that might be fine.

I'd just get a dog tbh.

f*ck birds.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I love their sounds but I hate that they are ‘caged’
I actually feel the same way about my cats. I think a lot about how they are feeling, and I hate that they are confined to this house for their entire lives. I know that they are safer inside, though, and I am working to be able to get to the place where I can build something large and airy for them.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
One of my old friends had a therapy animal that was a parrot! Incredibly smart creatures and it was very good for his socialization and she helped him immensely with his depression (looking after her, getting outside with her on a harness). I'm not sure whether it specifically helped with PTSD symptoms but it seemed like a total net positive.

One thing about it is that parrots especially are extremely noisy and very high maintenance animals because they're so intelligent. You can't just lay around in bed for days or keep them in a cage all day the same way you wouldn't with a human 2 year old child (roughly the average intelligence for an adult parrot). You have to have a high tolerance for excessive noise.

The smarter animals will actually mimic sounds around your house that are indistinguishable from real noises, like microwave beeping, fire alarm, smoke detector, barks/meows of other cats/dogs in the house, etc. This can actually be really hard on PTSD symptoms if you present with sensory or misophonia problems like I do. I've always wanted a bird but held off for that reason.

Rehoming them is very stressful on the bird and they can develop neurosis like feather plucking and self-harm. They are also very long-lived like 50-60 years so you need to have plans for if anything happens to you because especially at middle age, it's more than likely your bird will outlive you.
 
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