Borderline Personality Disorder Underdiagnosed, says Clinical Psychology Student

7 Jul

David Meyerson, a graduate student in DePaul’s clinical psychology program, is making a splash in the psychology world, and he doesn’t even have his master’s degree yet. In May, David presented to the American Psychiatric Association the results of a study of borderline personality disorder. As Digital Journal reports:

A report given at the American Psychiatric Association meeting this year concluded that borderline personality disorder is difficult to diagnose and may in fact be under-diagnosed at the outset. The lag in correct diagnosis frequently results in a number of medications that may in fact not be the most effective for the disorder.

In his presentation, David Meyerson of DePaul University in Chicago, after examining treatment histories of those found to have borderline personality disorder, found that “Diagnosing borderline personality disorder can be complicated and difficult because its symptoms overlap with other disorders.” In fact during the initial period, 34% of patients were given the wrong diagnosis.

David was the lead author of the study, which was conducted while he was a research assistant at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Watch David talk about the study, courtesy of MedPage Today:

Demon Tracks recently interviewed David about his research and his experiences in DePaul’s clinical psychology program.

DT: Why did you decide to attend DePaul?

DM: I really like the community focus of DePaul’s research. We work with people in underserved communities who deal with a variety of serious problems on a daily basis, but unfortunately these problems aren’t addressed by academic research often enough. It’s important to me to work with people from these underserved communities.

DT: What research are you conducting now?

DM: Right now, I am working with Dr. Kathy Grant on her research, which studies how low-income urban youth cope with stress – such as violence and economic stress – and how to create mentoring programs for these youth. We are creating this program from the ground up by working with schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, parishes and other community organizations that best suit the needs of the kids at the schools we’re working with.

It’s been a great experience, because of the variety of things I am doing. I am going to the schools and meeting with the faculty and students, working with a variety of community organizations and also doing research to find the most up-to-date academic studies that can inform our project.

I also work at DePaul Family and Community  Services, which provides mental health services to families, as part of our training. Overall, DePaul provides a good comprehensive education in clinical psychology.

DT: What are your long-term goals?

DM: I should graduate with my doctorate in the next three or four years. I would like to be an academic and perhaps a professor, but it’s a long, tough journey. Graduate school is incredibly challenging and so much work, but if you love what you are doing, then you can get through it.

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