(Just a note, this picture was not taken when he was upset-
that would not be the time to shove a camera in his face.
It does show how I often found him, though.)
This summer I did another round of herbal treatments for his liver, and this time, instead of just helping his liver, they also almost totally stopped the anxiety. Really, about a two weeks in I noticed some improvement, and a week later it was very obvious to everyone. His panic attack moments are quite rare now, and he is now showing more of his personality, playing, eating better, and demanding attention! Instead of thrashing around when I put the food dish in (even though he has outside access doors and was in other ways semi-tame) he would just wait for me to finish, and dive in. No more slamming into the bars when the door to the room opened. And plenty of time spent relaxed, with his cheek feathers fluffed out, his crest at "half mast", and singing softly. Or loudly. He does love making noise. Seriously a lot of noise.
Now, when he is afraid of something, or wary, instead of becoming what can only be described as hysterical, he visibly makes a decision to abort, by leaning back, backing away slowly, or as a last resort flying off, or even occasionally stand his ground and hiss.
I am really amazed at his progress, up until now I just wondered if he would ever be relaxed and happy, let alone really tame. I suppose his amygdala (part of the brain that handles stress response) finally decided he was healthy enough to calm down! I have felt rather guilty about him for quite a long time, since he came back in fact; as it would be for any parrot caretaker, it was upsetting for me not to be able to help him more. I could rarely even take him to another room, or even outside in a carrier, something he did very much seem to enjoy, as he loves sitting in the sun. I really had to catch him on a very good day to do much with him. And living with that can be hard, you have to remind yourself often you are not a failure, and just keep trying everyday. While Linus might have seemed like a"difficult" parrot, much too hard for a first time caretaker, in actuality, anxiety aside, he was quite easy to tame and make friends with. That is why I say what you need most when taking on a rehome is patience and some good parrot books to help you through, not necessarily a degree in parrot wrangling.
And after all that, I now have a little buddy- happy, calm, and a (sometimes annoying) attention hog!