Back in February, Jordan Peterson’s daughter Mikhaila posted a video on YouTube announcing that her father had nearly died several times while undergoing a rapid detox from benzodiazepine dependency (aka Valium and Xanax) in a Russian clinic. The whole story sounded very strange but she promised at the time that the next update would come from him. Last week it finally did. On Tuesday Mikhaila posted a family update podcast in which she interviews her father for nearly an hour. I’ve only watched the first half of it and all of it has been Peterson explaining how he became dependent on benzodiazepine.
His use of the drug started in 2016 to deal with anxiety. He upped his dose in 2019 when his wife, who’d been scheduled for surgery, was suddenly told she had terminal cancer and wouldn’t live for another year. According to both Petersons, that started several months in which Peterson’s wife was in danger of dying on a near-daily basis and everyone they consulted told them there was little chance that surgery or chemotherapy would help.
Peterson’s wife began to improve but by this point Peterson himself began to experience serious side-effects from the benzodiazepine. Specifically, he says he had a reaction called akathisia.