September 20, 2019

Jordan Peterson has checked into rehab for his addiction to anti-anxiety medication.

The New York Post reports, drawing mainly from this video from Peterson's daughter:



"The situation is really sad. He looks like a lost puppy."

65 comments:

stephen cooper said...

Well let's pray for him at a difficult moment, I hope the experts at the rehab center can help him, and I hope he knows we are praying for him.

Michael K said...

Not many people have the ability of Trump to stand abuse and come out stronger. Peterson has been under attack for two years.

Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

A family of clear speakers - talk about rare!

Karen of Texas said...

Know way too many people who are on prescription drugs for anxiety and/or depression. I wonder if they rival opiod prescriptions in terms of number written? No one really bothers to tell people that you can get hook on anti anxiety meds. Probably because the thinking is, once you're on them, you're going to take them for life.

I find it fascinating that his wife came to the states to be treated/saved and he's here for treatment now, too. What's wrong with that wonderful Canadian healthcare for all system?

rhhardin said...

Avoid medications.

Fernandistein said...

It looks like he was taking anti-depressants before the clonazepam; not much of an advert for his "12 Rules for Life".

Bill Crawford said...

She must make her parents very proud.

Laslo Spatula said...

Meanwhile, a news item today:

"...A feature documentary, The Rise of Jordan Peterson, about the Canadian psychology professor and one of the most famous public intellectuals has been dropped from a scheduled showing at Toronto’s Carlton Cinema over “one or more” staff’s complaints, The Post Millennial reports. As one of the theatre managers confirmed to the outlet, there were disagreements among staffers over the movie by Patricia Marcoccia, which was supposed to be shown for a week there..."

Juxtapose as you like.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

Bob and Ray high anxiety
https://archive.org/details/BnR79703261976

audio, start at 25:40

Ray said...

'It looks like he was taking anti-depressants before the clonazepam; not much of an advert for his "12 Rules for Life".'

Fuck off.
He openly admits he has struggled with depression most of his life. His all meat diet had reduced that for a while. I'm sure the stress of his wife's illness brought it back on. It runs in his family. Some depression is chemical, and can't be fixed with counseling.

glenn said...

So the current Icon of personal responsibility and purveyor of bafflegab turns out to be the twin of the guy I saw melt down when he couldn’t renew his tranquilizer prescription don’t at the drug store a while back. C’mon Jordan, get a grip, take control, man up. You can do it.

glenn said...

“He openly admits he has struggled with depression most of his life. His all meat diet had reduced that for a while. I'm sure the stress of his wife's illness brought it back on. It runs in his family. Some depression is chemical, and can't be fixed with counseling.”

Maybe Jordan should take a sabbatical and pick peaches for a couple of years. Fresh air, lots of exercise, a chance to meet the underclass one on one. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.

stever said...

If you liked him before,you probably still do If you didn’t, you still don’t. Addiction doesn’t care about your politics.

Temujin said...

Depression in many is a physical issue. It's a chemical imbalance. You cannot just '12 Rules' it away. That should not take away from what he has stood for and taught to so many. I often wonder about people suddenly thrust into a massive spotlight, then a non-stop train of talks, speeches, interviews on TV, radio, magazines, ezines, podcasts, concerts. And of course, he's still a professor, isn't he? I looked at him a year or so ago and thought he looked exhausted. I wonder how it hits people who are not built to be celebrities, but are made so in this insta-star world we live in.

He had all that going on, plus things (obviously) with his daughter. Then his wife fell seriously ill. And through all of this, he's been attacked relentlessly by those on the left because...well, just because that's all that people on the left have to offer to this world anymore. Nothing positive.

So, he's human. He needed help. And the help he was given turns out to be an additive drug. He's working on getting better. It has zero bearing with what he has spoken about and how he's tried to help people, while calling Bullshit bullshit. And I suspect it'll make him even stronger when he comes out the other side.

Ray said...

"a chance to meet the underclass one on one"


Although he was a professor, he also had a counselling practice. He is great friends with a chieftain , who is illiterate, of one of the indigenous tribes. I think they made him a member. Is that underclass enough?


I can't believe people kicking a good man when he's down. Their family has been through many struggles, including his daughter having rheumatoid arthritis, where she had several joints replaced before she was 16. Her cousin died of it in her late twenties, and she would of if she hadn't found a certain diet. It's OK to disagree, but show some humanity.

stephen cooper said...

glenn at 7:24 - I hope that people are not as cruel to you as you just were to someone who is facing difficulties which you probably cannot even begin to understand

you make most of the crabby old men here look like kind-hearted saints in comparison

wild chicken said...

"It's a chemical imbalance"

Oh, it is not. That was just marketing hype. Has never been priven. Shrinks ought to be embarrassed for perpetuating it. If should gobonbtbe Ash heao with "oxycontin is not addictive."

wild chicken said...

Oh well!

traditionalguy said...
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traditionalguy said...

Peterson is one person that I easily empathize with. He seems to be super sensitive to all people in his surroundings and resolves hard to help them. So he would be devastated by a suffering loved one nearing death that no one could help. That is the definition of stress.

Quaestor said...

I enjoy reading Peterson, but I dread listening to him. His manner of speaking has that ineffable fingernails-on-slate quality. Lately, he's been doing more vids and podcasts than writing, and if he isn't deaf as a stone he must hear himself speaking. Assuming the experience affects him like it does me he couldn't avoid the foot-gnawing anxiety of a trapped animal, ergo the alluring Sertraline buzz.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Blogger Temujin said...
Depression in many is a physical issue. It's a chemical imbalance. You cannot just '12 Rules' it away.


This is true, but it also illustrates the inherent limitations of all these self-help gurus/movements.

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Peterson is more than a self help guru. He is a magnificent teacher on many subjects with a mind near equal to the Professor's. Every minute of the 300+ hours of Peterson's YouTubes is worth watching over and over.

itzik basman said...

I’m stunned and saddened by this news.

William said...

He always struck me as being a kind and decent person. So does his family. They've been through a lot and deserve our well wishes. I don't know if prayers help, but they most definitely cannot hurt....It's not just evolution, but the whole damn cosmos is run on random selection, i.e. luck. Sometimes you get lots of grey cells and a book contract and sometimes you flunk your stochastic aptitude test and end up in the cancer ward or in rehab. Their family seems to hit the bright and dark ends of the spectrum. They have character, and I wish them luck.

Ray said...

Peterson is struggling with physical dependence, not full blown addiction. He's not jonesing for another hit. He's had a severe physical reaction from getting off the drugs, so he went to a rehab where they can professionally bring him slowly off the drug, while substituting it with similar drugs that aren't as addictive. Some people don't react well to drugs. My wife is one of them. She is now suffering from a shingles vaccine where her reaction is worse than shingles.

J. Farmer said...

Benzodiazepine is one of the more dangerous drug classes to withdrawal from, and medical detox is the preferred method of treatment. It is not unusual for people taking Klonopin long-term to suffer a lot of physical and psychological effects from tapering off them.

Paul Ciotti said...

Peterson is the college professor I always wished I had but never did.

steve uhr said...

I wish him the best. Never understood all the hate. An honest genuine person who truly cares about others. An anti-Trump.

Bob said...

I'm inclined to agree with rhhardin, and I do avoid medications.

Peterson's whirlwind fame the last few years reminds of the spiral that affects public entertainers who suddenly "make it", and make it big. And look at all the addicts in that class. Peterson of course is in a completely different genre. But everyone has a limit, and his wife's illnesses may have pushed him over his.

I do believe he has helped a lot of people, and I'm sure he's heard a tremendous number of unbelievably affecting stories in his practice.

I do think his daughter is amazing. With her history she would have nothing to apologize for had she ended up in the funny farm or worse. Kudos to her for what appears to be a very level head. I'm sure her mother and father had much to do with that.

Best wishes to JP for a complete recovery and to his whole family.

chickelit said...

Minuscule glenn (not majuscule Glenn) no doubt would have cheered when Nietzsche broke down.

Virgil Hilts said...

I personally know at least 3 potentially lost men between 18-23 whose lives have been significantly changed, improved, enhanced and partially healed by JP. God bless him and prayers for a speedy recovery.

Quayle said...

He has always said that the big question in his mind isn’t why do people get depressed. Or why do people take drugs. Or why do people have anxiety. Rather the question he always poses is why •don’t• more people suffer these things. I don’t think this repudiates anything he has said and I don’t think he is a hypocrite. He is taking responsibility and doing a hard thing.

cf said...

powerful goodness, their gracious model is a blessing for us all, so grateful for their contribution, may they heal and renew and grow stronger in every way, salud.

Johnathan Birks said...

I took Klonopin and other benzos for several years for a sleep disorder. Can't say they did much good, but I didn't have any problem getting off them. Every constitution is different, and not everyone who takes benzos ends up addicted to them, which is what his daughter seemed to imply (I don't know anything about her history).

That said, best to the Peterson family.

buwaya said...

Poor Peterson.
I suggest a vacation in the less-visited parts of the South Seas.
Island after island of fractal beaches. The highest tech is a canoe.
Or no, it is these $&@$” phones, and the resorts all have WiFi.

Ditto re never taking any drugs.
I’m glad I never did, not even for allergies.
But now I’m on metformin.

As for depression, I may be the opposite.
Some sort of maniac I suppose.

glenn said...

Maybe I should have recommended employment on the loading dock at Amazon. Still plenty of exercise, fresh air, and at the local one a biker gang to hang out with.

Michael K said...

An honest genuine person who truly cares about others. An anti-Trump.

But subjected to Trump-like hate by your team.

Fortunately, Trump is a super strong person immune to your hate.

Ken B said...

Glenn makes me proud to be a Peterson admirer.

Peterson will recover. Glenn won't.

narciso said...

Caffeine is the thing that keeps my synapses firing. Unlike many philosophers and psychologists he had respect for religion, maybe he could have done with more faith.

walter said...

GPs can dole out Benzos pretty irresponsibly.

Lewis Wetzel said...

I think we see the weakness of stoicism as a governing philosophy, here. The foundation of stoicism is that we are individuals who can control our own emotions and thoughts, but nothing else.
That model is broken by love.
Terminal cancer is a shit show. If a beloved spouse is diagnosed with terminal cancer it is a super shit show. How much suffering are you willing to impose upon your spouse to keep him or her with you, in this world? It is almost certain that your spouse has been given so many pain controlling drugs that they are utterly dependent on you making their decisions for them.
Jesus what a mess.

Howard said...

Not a surprise. He spoke openly about his life-long curse with depression. For a time, he was convinced his all meat diet was the cure.

Sydney said...

As others have noted, benzodiazepines are extremely physically addictive. It can kill you to stop cold turkey. It’s a physiological thing, not psychological. There was a whole generation of women addicted to them who were young wives and mothers in the 1950’s when they were handed out like candy. When I started practicing medicine in the early 90’s, they were grandmas who still needed their Librium once a day. Don’t see it as much now as they have mostly passed on. The Rolling Stones even put it in a song- mother’s little helper.

Owen said...

Prayers up for JP. He’s given a lot to the world and strikes me as an honest, decent man with some good ideas and values, and a wildly active intelligence. I’ve gained a lot from watching some of his videos.

daskol said...

Also note that there was no reason for him to be public about this struggle beyond his genuine honesty and desire to help others. It will be, for Peterson, a positive disintegration.

Tina Trent said...

After listening to him on many walks and gardening, I think it's lovely how he manages to share the gifts of western civilization with a broad range of people. Without condescension or feeling the need to dumb it down. Also lovely: he wishes to do so. Also, he is very good at it.

His fame shows how sadly rare all this is.

He is often quite contemptuous of Trump and American conservatism -- included in this is criticism American arrangement of medical care. I imagine that may change. And it is far from perfect, but he has now experienced its strengths.

When he is gulag bound, he may gain similar insights into the reasons for our political beliefs. He can be shockingly naive when he wanders from his expertise into politics, even the study of fascism, which he claims to know well. He is quick to pull the prejudice trigger when talking about American conservatives. But that's OK. Many make the journey to realizing conservatism isn't racist, fascist, so on. Few go the other way.

MadisonMan said...

What if you become anxious about taking your anti-anxiety meds? Then what?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Lewis Wetzel said...
I think we see the weakness of stoicism as a governing philosophy, here.


I like stoicism as a philosophy but in practice it requires a significant support structure (independent wealth/Buddhist monastic life) to implement.

Fernandistein said...

Ray said...Fuck off.

Don't go away depressed, Ray, just go away.

Depression in many is a physical issue.

Depression is always a physical issue because all aspects of your personality are caused by your physical brain.

I enjoy reading Peterson, but I dread listening to him.

I've tried both and cannot understand the interest in him. And no, I don't think he's controversial at all, his non-PC stance is just that of most normal people (= not in a braying herd of academics).

Peterson's "Two Rules for Life: A Way to End Up in Rehab"
-- Feel sad: take drugs.
-- Feel anxious: take different drugs.

I think he's a well-meaning hypocrite with a mostly bogus spiel which he seems to believe.

Jason said...

Damn. Liberals never seem to miss a chance to reveal themselves to be inhuman ghouls.

Jamie said...

A young man close to my family has recently been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I can say unequivocally that the meds he is taking have turned him from a shivering, pale, despairing wraith to a once-again cheerful and competent person doing a good job at his work and able to live alone without contemplating suicide. Now, of course we're all concerned about the long term, but luckily this kid is young enough that the adults in his life can still get away with treating him like a kid (how did your last doctor's appointment go? How's therapy coming? Like that). Peterson is too old to have that.

Enlighten-NewJersey said...

Fernandistein, Which of Peterson’s rules for life states or implies “don’t take medication prescribed by your doctor” ? Please explain what’s hypocritical about Peterson’s Rules for Life and his present situation, condition and the action he has taken for treatment. Here are his 12 rules:

1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back
2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
3. Make friends with people who want the best for you
4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
6. Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
8. Tell the truth – or, at least, don't lie
9. Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don't
10. Be precise in your speech
11.Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

Sydney said...

What if you become anxious about taking your anti-anxiety meds? Then what?

That, unfortunately, is all too common. They stay anxious. Especially if they also refuse to go to counselling.

Brian said...

Portrait of a sycophant:

Michael K somehow turns this into an opportunity to lick Trumps boot (again).

Rusty said...

Brian...…
Still not getting it.
How's the area 51 raid shaping up?

PB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PB said...

Cath the part about how her mom was flown to the US because Canadian healthcare couldn't treat her?

Grundoon said...

I am a baby-boomer evangelical Christian and have heard many preachers in my lifetime. None have been of the fire-and-brimstone variety. In fact, I have heard that style routinely disparaged as counterproductive.

One idea I have been recently pondering is what brought the early Christians into the faith? Jesus was tortured to death, his treasurer had been embezzling funds, Paul suffered physically over and over. Would I consider joining such an organization?

Listening to Jordan Peterson gave me an idea. I have often heard the Sermon on the Mount quoted in a calm, lofty, comforting, encouraging style. What if Jesus' style was melancholy and insistent like Jordan Peterson. Mr. Peterson uses Bible examples and presents the moral messages as obvious facts of life. The challenge of your life is to be responsible, take on as much as you can, and in the midst of suffering and hard work you will find meaning by being responsible. That may be pretty close to a fire-and-brimstone approach and it gets results.

Picture this. A construction worker with no religious credentials comes to your church and, in an insistent, confident voice tells the congregation that you misunderstand many of the teachings of your faith. In fact you have much of it exactly backwards because the leaders of your church misunderstand their own scriptures. But he challenges the men to join him in a quest to overcome their sinful natures. The path ahead has great rewards but it will involve you voluntarily taking actions that will cause you to suffer. It will cause deep conflicts in your family. Sometimes you will walk a second mile or turn the other cheek, but sometimes it will be time to wreck someone's money-changing business or be sure you have a sword because there is trouble ahead. You will be the provider for widows and orphans. You will have enemies in your life and you will pray for them. Your reward comes after you have died.

I think it could well be that the hearers were thinking, yeah I see the point. Our leaders are corrupt. A quest to adhere to a difficult code of honer is the right way to live. Like today, "the few, the proud" is a message that resonates with men.

Maybe Jesus was closer to drill sergeant than mild-mannered philosopher.

MayBee said...

J. Farmer said...
Benzodiazepine is one of the more dangerous drug classes to withdrawal from, and medical detox is the preferred method of treatment. It is not unusual for people taking Klonopin long-term to suffer a lot of physical and psychological effects from tapering off them.


truth. /they don't get as much attention as opioids, but they are too early deadly.

Grundoon said...

By the way, Jordan Peterson did not start to write his book with 12 rules in mind. He tells the story that he had written a list of a little more that forty pieces of good advice, put it out on Quora, and it went viral. He got comments saying the list was life-changing.

Because so many people liked the list he was approached about writing a book. He first was going to write further on all 40 ideas but he kept paring the number down until he arrived at 12 to include in the book.

I am listening to the 12 rules book. The recording is 15 hours long. Many other books are in the range of 3 to 6 hours. Twelve rules is plenty for now.

Jim at said...

I wish him the best. Never understood all the hate. An honest genuine person who truly cares about others. An anti-Trump.

You just couldn't do it, could you?

Something that has absolutely nothing to do with Trump, you manage to turn it into something about Trump.

By definition, that's TDS. Up your meds.

Freeman Hunt said...

But is it addiction-addiction?

Gordon Scott said...

One of the things Jordan Peterson has spoken of is his fear of saying the wrong thing. We all pop out with something now and then that we later regret saying. This guy has given several hundred public lectures and dozens of interviews, all of which are available online. He's seen unguarded comments by others be the fuel for their destruction. And he fears he will make one of those unguarded comments.

Man, I'd fear that too. Peterson has been viciously attacked, and he hasn't put a foot wrong verbally yet. Yes, he can be very naive about politics outside Canada. He's learning that some of his assumptions are false.

Two years constantly on the road, delivering lectures off the cuff in front of thousands. That's stressful. Now his wife is stricken, the wife that traveled with him every mile, every lecture. That is some serious stress. I hope I could handle it.

I've seen folks trying to get off the heavy benzos. It can be sheer hell. And bravo to him for realizing his wife might not be up to carrying the burden, not yet, as she's still healing. He has money. He can afford good treatment. I wish him and his family the best.