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Old 08-20-2013, 02:35 AM
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Therapy Birds

Today I spoke with someone whose spouse has classic bipolar disorder. Her spouse is very interested in getting a parrot. I tend to keep too much inside of my own head at times and that can lead to "analysis paralysis". Hahnzel helps me keep away from those moments by just being a good companion for me.

My question is, for real mental disorders can a bird be truly helpful? Or are those types of drastic mood swings something that could be a bad thing?
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:15 AM
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Re: Therapy Birds

In my opinion I don't think it is a good idea. Between the drastic mood swings of the owner and the possible mood swings ( or stubbornness) of the parrot, it could turn into a bad situation very quickly.
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:56 PM
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Re: Therapy Birds

I think having a relationship with a bird is a great thing for situation driven depression, but bi-polar is a very different thing and I'm not convinced a pet that is highly demanding and requires consistency and steadiness from its human company would be a good idea. I have a close friend who is bi-polar and she gets a lot of pleasure out of having pets but they're all mammals, and she has a partner to take care of them when she's not in a fit state to. If it were the partner who was the bird's primary carer it would be better for the bird but from my experience of the illness I can still see a lot of room for problems.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:24 PM
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Re: Therapy Birds

Bi-polar people should NOT have parrots. I don't have anything against them (my sister in law is bi-polar) but, in truth, these are people who cannot take care of themselves and a parrot needs consistency, routines, schedule, patience, etc all things that bi-polar people cannot provide on a daily basis (both my nieces are in therapy because of their mother's illness).

It might benefit the human but it would not be fair to the bird.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:45 PM
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Re: Therapy Birds

I'm disagreeing with most here.

People who are disabled, physically or mentally can be adequate care givers to parrots. People with bipolar disorder, can still be adequate care givers to parrots. However, it depends entirely on how bad their condition is. I know of someone who suffers with bipolar who functions 'normally' - then another who is indeed, the definition of a 'manic depressive', who I'd be cautious of having around children, nevermind animals.

If there is someone else in the picture who can also provide care for the parrot, such as a spouse of the 'disabled' person, then no, I don't see why someone with bipolar/any other condition (unless there is blindingly obvious reasons, eg. no arms or legs, eyes, etc!!) should be denied the companionship for a bird.

I am sick, I've been pretty horrificly sick too since acquiring Merlin, where I failed in my care giving, Andrew stepped it up a notch until I was 'back to myself' (still sick, but no longer suicidal.)

There is a line between 'too sick' and just 'sick' in regards to animal care - but don't go tarring everyone with one illness, with the same brush. What affects one, may not affect another quite the same.
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:05 PM
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Re: Therapy Birds

I have heard of therapy birds. Me and my sister talked about it. I can see why people think it is a bad idea. If I got real sick someone would have to care of my animals. My sister questions if parrots would be a good therapy tool by asking if a bird would cause such people's condition to be worse and not calm them down. And that is a good question since birds have been known to annoy normal functioning people.

Last edited by Abigal7; 08-20-2013 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:21 PM
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Re: Therapy Birds

Quote: Originally Posted by Abigal7 View Post
I heard of therapy birds. Me and my sister talked about it. I see why people think it is a bad idea. If I got real sick someone would have to care of my animals. My sister asked if a bird would cause such people's condition to be worse and not calm them down. And that is a good question.
I have a chronic illness and have been bedridden at times, not since having Merlin, but I did have my budgies. Andrew did all the house keeping for them during that period. After getting Merlin I've had incredibly bad days with pain, with my mood, with my temper, patience. But I've gotten out of bed to cuddle him, to play, to feed, put him back to bed and gone back to sleep. Merlin was my reason for getting up that day, despite the illness. Merlin never suffered for it (bar the fact he got used to me being home all day every day.) Where I struggled, Andrew took over.

So, with proper support, I'm all for people with illnesses being able to have a parrot, or pet. If I had been on my own, I would have struggled more with Merlin because of his demands and my lack of energy. But when my patience was challenged, my moods were low, temper frayed - Merlin taught me patience, Merlin gave me a reason to keep on going.

So yeah, I'm for 'therapy birds' - depending on the situation.
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:22 PM
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Re: Therapy Birds

We have a friend who is severely bi-polar. I shudder at the idea of him having a parrot (or ANY pet for that matter).

While on medication he may "seem" normal, however, he doesn't take his medication regularly, therefore he never really fully functions what we would call "normally". The mood swings are atrocious and dangerous at times. No way no how would he benefit from a pet. He's called one of my dogs every name under the sun for sniffing him, he's thrown rocks at his neighbor's dog for barking at him, so you get the picture. I actually no longer invite him into our home - out of sheer fear what might set him off.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:06 AM
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Re: Therapy Birds

Phoe this is a difficult question !
First of all I think the person ho hase a disease must be a bird lover, iff so I see really no problem.
I,m struggling myself with a disease and Mando is my reason to keep me going and he keeps me on track, he gives me routine wich I need despretly.
So in my case he,s my therapie bird and I think a lot of people in my situation can have benefits of owning and taking care of a parrot, but you have to love pets espesilly birds.
Being not Nice to people öre animals has nothing to do with bi Polar öre not its just how a person is, so if Anny one is bi Polar öre have some other ilness but loves animals and have a great spouche I say go for it !
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:41 AM
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Re: Therapy Birds

My own issues stem from ADD type issues. I have dramatic sugar responses and then can crash just as easy. Having a responsibility such as Hahnzel keeps me on track and focused. Now, a true mania transcends common sense at times, while a crushing depression leaves a person unable to even move. Placing a completely dependant creature such as a parrot in those living conditions seems like a recipe for disaster.

I gave my avian vets phone number to her and told her to call him before making any plans.
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