How My Pet Cockatiels Helped My Depression

I have suffered from depression since I was a little girl into menopause. Unfortunately I was born with this and need to treat it medically with antidepressants on a daily basis. But there is more to treating depression than just pills. The pills can only do so much. They can put me into balance. But I needed more. I lived alone and needed some form of companionship.

I did not want to get involved with another person. I have had enough bad relationships. I always loved animals and someone suggested that I get a pet bird. I went to the pet shop quite often to look at the pet birds. There were parakeets, cockatiels, cockatoos, finches and more. I did not have a lot of money, so I started with a green and yellow parakeet ,Buddy, and then got a friend for my parakeet that was a natural grey cockatiel, Baby. I did not know anything about pet birds either. I had a lot to learn. So I bought a parakeet hand book and cockatiel hand book.

I fell in love with Buddy and Baby. It was like Christmas every morning (and still is like Christmas every morning), when I took the blanket off of my bird cages to greet Buddy and Baby.. They radiated something so special and made everything so bright. Whenever I felt bad, all I needed to do was go look at my birds, pet them and talk to them. They made me feel less depressed.

I did not realize how intelligent parakeets and cockatiels were. They are very emotional animals. I was a lousy at teaching birds to talk. Even though my birds could not talk, I could figure out what they wanted by watching their body language and listening to their bird sounds . I cleaned their cages on a daily basis and studied more about nutrition for my birds. It did take me years of reading Bird Talk Magazine to know about what nutrition birds need. Each species can require different foods.

After 8 years had passed, my parakeet, Buddy, passed away, and Baby and I were devastated. Baby even cried. He did not cry tears, but you could definitely tell in the tone of his cries he was missing Buddy. Buddy was like a father to Baby. Buddy use to feed him on a daily basis by regurgitating some food to Baby. Regurgitating food to a person or other bird, is a sign of love and affection. Baby and I shared the grief of missing Buddy.

A month or so later, I went to buy another cockatiel, Beenie, to keep us company. Beenie was only 4 months old. He was still a baby, but old enough to take home. He is a beautiful pied cockatiel. He has white and grey splotches of color all over him. His coloring looks kind of like a pinto horse. Beenie has more white and yellow on his head than Baby does. Baby pushed Beenie around alot, but got use to him slowly but surely. They began sharing the same cage after a while. But they both enjoy having their own cage and space, too.

I enjoy petting my birds most of all. They each have their own way of being petted. Baby likes to be petted on his head and cheeks when he is sitting on his cage or my lap. And Beenie only likes to be petted when he is on my right shoulder. I hold my hand up to his head and Beenie moves his head around to the spots he wants scratched and petted the most. My birds are so soft and warm to touch. I really love doing this alot.

Being able to share your days and feelings with someone else is so special. This really helps beat my depression. Especially with my 2 birds that give me so much unconditional love. Every morning is bright when I take off the blanket that covers their cage at night, and I gaze at my pretty birds as they chirp to me. I look forward to cleaning their cage and spending time with them on a daily basis.

Source by Barbara Delgiudice

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