Dr. John Gunderson, 76, Dies; Defined Borderline Personality Disorder

He also published, with Dr. Paul Links, a handbook describing what he called not bad psychiatric management, intended for nonspecialists, patients along with families dealing with the storms of rage along with self-loathing of borderline personality. This particular guide became widely used by doctors.

Dr. Gunderson’s long commitment to people with borderline personality disorder had a hopeful payoff. He collaborated on a long-term study, led by Harvard’s Mary C. Zanarini, which found that will most people given a diagnosis of borderline personality eventually recover: some 15 percent inside first year, a third by two years, fully 85 percent after a decade.

“He was the first person to look systematically at the data along with figure out what the heck This particular diagnosis truly meant,” said Dr. Glen Gabbard, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Before John, there were observations, case studies, confusion; after John, we had clarity.”

John Gunder Gunderson was born on June 20, 1942, in Two Rivers, Wis., the youngest of three children. His father, Sherman, was a professor of economics, along with his mother, Alma (Walter) Gunderson, was a high school English teacher. He grew up in Oshkosh, graduating coming from high school there in 1960.

Determined to be a doctor, he entered Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore along with found himself in deep water: Everyone else seemed to be pre-med, too, along with better prepared than he. He stuck that will out, earning his way into a two-year Dartmouth Medical School program that will fed Harvard’s medical school, where he finished his degree in 1967.

In 1963, while at Dartmouth, he met Susan Riley, a student at Skidmore, on a blind date. They were married in 1965, along with she might go on to work in money management in Boston.

In addition to his wife, he can be survived by two children, Craig along with Kelly Gunderson, along with several grandchildren. His sister along with brother died before him.