Jordan Peterson’s daughter Mikhaila posted a video online last week offering an update on her father’s health. The video outlines his growing addiction to benzodiazepine, a tranquilizer which is sold under dozens of different names including Xanax and Valium. Mikhaila said Peterson was initially prescribed the medication for anxiety several years ago but when his wife was diagnosed with cancer last year, his use increased and he became addicted. That eventually led to a medical crisis which Peterson barely survived:
For the last 8 months he’s been in unbearable discomfort from this drug, made worse when trying to remove it, because of the addition of withdrawal symptoms, stemming from physical dependence. He experienced terrible akathisia, which is a condition where the person feels an incredible, endless, irresistible restlessness, bordering on panic, and an inability to sit still. The reaction made him suicidal.
After several failed treatment attempts in North American hospitals, including attempts at tapering and micro-tapering, we had to seek an emergency medical benzodiazepine detox, which we were only able to find in Russia. It was incredibly grueling, and was further complicated by severe pneumonia which we’ve been told he developed in one of the previous hospitals. He’s had to spend 4 weeks in the ICU in terrible shape, but, with the help of some extremely competent and courageous doctors, he survived. The decision to bring him to Russia was made in extreme desperation, when we couldn’t find any better option. The uncertainty around his recovery has been one of the most difficult and scary experiences we’ve ever had.
Mikhaila told the National Post that Peterson, “nearly died several times.” She also said he had been placed in a medically induced coma in order to detox from the drug. There is some good news which is that he is now recovering and has regained his sense of humor, but she also said he is currently unable to type or walk without assistance.
Given the degree to which people on the left hated Peterson before all of this happened, you won’t be surprised to learn there are people feeling glee or at least schadenfreude over his near death experience. Fox News has cataloged some of those reactions. A writer for the National Post published a piece blasting the reaction of Peterson’s critics:
Ironically, the anti-Petersonians now seem far more fanatical than Peterson’s most faithful fans. This became clear in recent days, when some of Peterson’s critics — including, amazingly, a professor at the University of Ottawa — went online to express satisfaction that Peterson is being treated for dependence on benzodiazepine, an anti-anxiety medication. It was a shockingly ghoulish response. It was also comically hypocritical, given that these are the same people who typically spend much of their waking lives boasting publicly of their commitment to social justice, and who insist on using the language of genocide to describe acts of misgendering or cultural appropriation. All cults dehumanize their critics and perceived enemies. And the self-described social-justice proponents who regard Peterson as a secular demon are no different…
If you’re looking for demons, which fits the role more perfectly: the troubled academic who took medication to deal with his wife’s cancer and the strains of life in the public spotlight — or the social-justice hashtag sadists who revel in his misery?
His opponents were frustrated that he was repeatedly able to win arguments on television with people spouting their views. Now they are taking this chance to dance on his (almost) grave knowing he’s in no condition to respond. What lovely people.
Here’s Peterson’s daughter describing what happened. She ends this by saying the next update will come from him. Here’s hoping he’s able to make a full recovery.