This is, understandably, the first
question a lot of people ask, since a flood of negative feelings is a
hallmark of D-MER. But D-MER being a physiological condition is one piece of the puzzle that is most certain.
Why is it important to know whether D-MER is psychological or hormonal? Because solutions will not be found if we don't look in the right direction. Some D-MER mothers have spent a year or more pursuing ineffective treatment and counseling.
It's also important to remember that not all emotional issues are psychological, something we are especially likely to forget when women are involved. The very word "hysterical" comes from the Greek word for "womb". If a group of men began reporting that every time they yawned, just before the yawn and continuing for up to a minute afterwards, they had feelings of euphoria, would researchers look first at their emotional backgrounds, or at the physiology of the yawn?
Are we saying that a psychological response to breastfeeding isn't possible? No, of course not. But D-MER isn't one of them.
Below you will see why a psychological origin for D-MER is extremely unlikely.
Now take a minute and imagine you are a mother who is experiencing these emotions while breastfeeding your baby. When everyone and everyone has told you that you should feel warm and maternal while you nurse, you find yourself feeling dark and hostile. Now imagine that you get up your courage to share your feelings to one of the safest people you can think of: a breastfeeding helper....a best friend...your mother...a mother's group... your doctor...and after you bear your soul to one or more of these "safe" people, you hear only the above comments in return. Would you ever dare to bring up these "wrong" and horrid feelings again?
This is why D-MER is breastfeeding's best kept secret.Note: We could still be wrong about some of the details about dopamine. Our small team, remember, has not worked on this for very long and most of us are operating partly outside our training. Dopamine seems to be an extremely good fit, based on everything we know and have tried. However, hormones dance together in all sorts of poorly understood ways. We will undoubtedly get a great deal wrong before we get everything right. But we have found no reason to consider D-MER psychologically based. That much, we're sure we have right!