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Spectrum and Intensities

Mild D-MER
Mothers often rate the severity of their feelings between a  1-3 (on a scale of 1-10) before they know that D-MER is to blame and seem to get past their feelings nearly altogether after education about D-MER. Mild D-MER is described as a "pang" or a "sigh"; a mother takes comfort in knowing her feelings are unjustified but does not seek treatment. She may however make some effective lifestyle changes that will lessen her reaction even more. D-MER seems to self correct within the first three months. Feelings
fall within the range of Despondency D-MER.

Moderate D-MER
Mothers rate moderate D-MER  between a  4-7 (on a scale of 1-10) before knowing
D-MER is the cause. She will often lower her rating to 2-5 after learning about D-MER. Mothers show interest in natural treatment options and lifestyle changes and D-MER can often be lessened with these. Committed mothers do not seem to waver in their determination to breastfeed through it. D-MER seems to self correct between 3-9 months. The moderate D-MER experience is most likely to be that of Despondency D-MER or Anxiety D-MER.

Severe D-MER
Mothers rate their D-MER between 7-10 (on a scale of 1-10) before
and after learning about D-MER. Mothers are more likely to wean, in spite of being committed to extended breastfeeding. Often D-MER presents with suicidal ideation and other thoughts of self harm. Severe cases seem to not self correct within the first year. This type of severity can fall anywhere of the spectrum, Despondency, Anxiety or Agitation D-MER. In severe cases often lifestyle changes or natural treatment options will not be effective enough to make a difference in a mother's D-MER and it would be appropriate for a prescription treatment to be strongly considered if the mother feels she needs it to continue breastfeeding.

The Spectrum of D-MER

The D-MER experience is variable. Because of this D-MER is defined on a spectrum. 

Think of a color spectrum; red is not the same as blue, even though they are both colors. Like this, D-MER can present with different "colors" of emotion for different mothers; despondency, anxiety 
or anger. 

In this case severity (or what we call intensity) has little to do with the spectrum of the D-MER experience.

Despondency D-MER

This is the most common experience on the spectrum. The words and phrases most commonly used are the mother having:
  • A sensation of a pit/hollowness or sinking in the stomach
  • Sadness
  • An urge to "get away"
  • General negative emotions
  • Feelings of being hopeless
  • Feelings of being apprehensive
But Despondency D-MER can also include the mother feeling:
  • A low mood
  • Low self-esteem
  • Pessimistic
  • Fatigued
  • Worthless
  • Helpless
  • Indecisive
  • Gross
  • Icky
  • Yucky
  • Blah feeling
  • A "twinge"
  • A "pang"
  • A "sigh"
  • Emotional upset
  • Unhappy
  • Tearful
  • Worrisome
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Self Disgust
  • Depressed
  • Dissatisfied
  • Discouraged
  • Nervous
  • Confused
  • Guilt
  • Disheartened
  • Lack of focus
  • Trepidation
  • Homesickness
  • Bothered
  • Disappointed
  • Shame
  • Grief
  • Introspective
  • Sad
  • Brooding
  • A desire to be alone
  • A fear of having failed
  • Fear
  • Angst
  • Exhaustion
  • Despair
  • Harmful thoughts
  • A sensation of a lump in the throat
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • An inability to cope
  • Oversensitive
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Ill at Ease
  • Weepy
  • Concerned
Anxiety D-MER

This experience usually includes some feelings from Despondency D-MER as well, often including intrusive thoughts or thoughts of self harm. If a mother resonates with five or more words from this list then she would be considered as suffering with Anxiety D-MER. The two emotions most commonly used to describe this D-MER experience are:
  • Anxiety
  • Dread
But Anxiety D-MER can also included feelings of being:
  • Restless
  • Impatient
  • Panicky
  • Resentful
  • Irritable
  • Anxious
  • Annoyed
  • Frustrated
Agitation D-MER

This experience often includes varying emotions from Despondency and Anxiety D-MER. This is the most uncommon experience and almost always includes invasive thoughts and suicidal ideation. If a mother resonates with three or more words from this list then she would be considered as suffering from Agitation D-MER. Three common words used when describing this experience are feelings of being:
  • Agitated
  • Tense
  • Paranoid
But Agitation D-MER can also can include feelings of being:
  • Angry
  • Aggressive
  • Hostile
  • Distressed