23:54 GMT15 January 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    The Canadian psychologist lived through tough times after his wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He had been struggling with anxiety and was prescribed an increased dose of the psychoactive drug benzodiazepine to cope. The professor later developed a physical addiction to it and had to undergo emergency treatment, which he sought in Russia.

    In a "Happy New Year" tweet, Jordan Peterson has expressed gratutude to everyone who has supported him and his wife Tammy throughout the past two years, describing all of the "kind and thoughtful" messages the couple has received as "bright spots in the darkness".

    ​Last February, their daughter, Mikhaila, revealed that her father had made a decision to seek drug detox treatment in Russia following several unsuccessful attempts in North America. She explained that Peterson had been prescribed a low dose of benzodiazepine "a few years ago" to treat anxiety caused by a severe autoimmune response to food.

    His condition, however, deteriorated after Tammy, his wife of 30 years, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Following the diagnosis, the dose of the anti-anxiety drug was increased, causing Peterson to suffer "both a physical dependency and a paradoxical reaction to the medication".

    While his wife miraculously recovered in mid-August 2019, the professor had to check into rehab in September 2019 to get the benzodiazepine out of his system after repeated attempts to wean himself off the drug on his own.

    Mikhaila even revealed the drug led her father to suffer from such conditions as akathisia, which is characterised by a feeling of irresistible restlessness and urge to move, something that made him "suicidal". 

    In June 2020, Peterson made an appearance on Mikhaila's podcast, informing fans that he felt "things are put back together" and that he had been working on a new book, titled "Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life".

    A few months later, he uploaded a video to his YouTube channel to update his supporters about his health, saying that he had returned to Canada to live "something resembling a normal life".

    "I am back to Toronto, in much better health, although severely impaired, especially in the morning, but I can work again and I really want to", Peterson, who had returned from Serbia, where he underwent the latest stage of his treatment following a stint in Russia, said.

    During his stay in Belgrade, the Canadian psychologist and his entire family contracted coronavirus, but managed to recover quickly.

    Peterson rose to global prominence for his criticism of radical feminism and social justice warriors, as well as his fierce opposition to Canadian legislation requiring people to use gender-neutral pronouns for people who identify as non-binary, which he claimed infringes on free speech. He is the author of the best-selling book, "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos" and a series of lectures called "Professor Against Political Correctness", where he contends that "there's a difference between saying something you can't say and saying that there are things that you have to say".

    Russia, Canada, treatment, drug addiction, addiction, drug, New Year, cancer, Jordan Peterson
    Community standardsDiscussion