Going to a decade now, Jordan Peterson has been one of the world’s most famous and controversial professors, owing to his numerous lectures and contributions on issues regarding ideological beliefs. The Canadian Clinical Psychology professor, YouTube Personality, critical thinker, and bestselling author has endeared himself to many on the political right with his campaign against identity politics, feminism, and general political correctness. This same exact fact has however made him persona non grata with the political left, inspiring damming articles from liberal-minded media organizations.
Peterson now occupies a very important place in the culture wars currently going on in the western world. It, therefore, made quite the splash when news broke that he had been dealing with some demons in private for a while now. This news was especially shocking in view of the fact that he had also made a career out of self-help videos. It, therefore, inspired tales of the self-help guru who couldn’t help himself.
His Battle to Overcome Addiction to Anti-Anxiety Medication
Jordan Peterson’s battle with drug dependency goes back to 2016 when he had a bad reaction to a particular food that he had taken. He consulted his doctors and they prescribed for him, Clonazepam, a class of drugs (known as benzodiazepines) used to treat insomnia, seizures, epilepsy, and anxiety. The author and YouTube personality began taking these drugs in earnest and it served its purpose for a very long time. Things, however, took a different dimension after his wife was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.
The diagnosis made Peterson quite anxious and stressed out and the doctors increased his prescription for Clonazepam in order to help him cope. He however inadvertently became so dependent on the drug that he couldn’t function without it and started abusing them. Luckily for the author, he realized that he was on a bad path and so he tried to quit his addiction. All of his efforts however failed and he had to seek professional help in late 2019.
The professor first tried different hospitals in North America but none could help him. He, therefore, flew out to Russia in January 2020 as his condition worsened. Thankfully, the Russian medics were able to completely flush the drug from his system and he moved on to another European country, Serbia for further treatment.
Peterson remains in Serbia to date and is now back to his regular self. As he revealed in his daughter’s podcast in July 2019, his withdrawal symptoms have almost disappeared and he is now writing new stuff as well as listening to music. It is however not yet Uhuru and as such, the author remains at the specialty clinic in Belgrade to make sure the improvements he has experienced in his health will last for a long time and not be temporary.
How He Built His Reputation as an Academician at Harvard and the University of Toronto
Jordan Peterson received his high school education at Fairview High School, graduating in 1979, before proceeding to Grande Prairie Regional College to study political science and English Literature. He later transferred to the University of Alberta from where he graduated in 1982 with a degree in Political science.
After his University education, Jordan embarked on a one year tour of Europe where he explored the psychological origins of the cold war, 20th-century European totalitarianism, as well as the works of Carl Jung among many other things. Upon his return to Canada, he enrolled at the University of Alberta, earning another degree in psychology in 1984.
His ultimate quest for deeper knowledge saw him pursue his Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1991 at McGill University. He had his post-doctoral fellowship at the university’s hospital until 1993 after which he took up a job as an assistant professor in the Psychology Department of Harvard University. Peterson later rose to become an associate professor before moving back to Canada in 1998 to work for the University of Toronto as a professor. He remains at the institution to date but stepped down from teaching in 2018.
The Controversial Channel 4 Interview that shot Jordan Peterson to Fame
Jordan Peterson has written two books; Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief (published in 1999) and 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (published in January of 2018). His first book explored several academic fields in order to understand why people support certain value systems and descend into conflict to defend them. The second book presented abstract ethical principles in a simplified manner and this helped him emerge the bestselling author on Amazon in 2018.
Today, the professor imparts knowledge to a larger audience via his YouTube account where he has millions of subscribers. A lot of his work challenges political correctness as well as the culture of victimhood which he claims is spreading throughout university campuses. Such beliefs have found favor with so many and this has popularised his videos such as The Biblical Series (15 in all), Modern Times: Camille Paglia and Jordan B Peterson, Identity Politics, and the Marxists Lie Of White Privilege among others.
Peterson has also been interviewed on several TV channels and it was one of such interviews that gained him his biggest claim to fame. Back in January 2018, the author appeared on Channel 4 UK to debate the gender pay gap with host, Cathy Newman. He was able to defend it with references, data, and calm analysis which left Newman flustered and befuddled. The video subsequently went viral on YouTube, attracting about 22 million views. Right-wing analysts such as Tucker Carlson hailed the interview as one of the greatest while left-leaning members of the public attacked Newman for her obvious unpreparedness.
Jordan’s Marital Life
Jordan Peterson has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Tammy Peterson, since 1989. Tammy, nee Roberts, is equally a native of Alberta, Canada, and was born on the 3rd of June 1965, making her three years younger than her husband. She grew up in Alberta and had a career as a massage therapist. She, later on, quit the career path and has spent much of the intervening years fostering children from all around Canada.
Peterson and his wife first met when they were very young and after a prolonged relationship, they walked down the aisle in 1989. Their union has produced two children and has stood the test of time. It, therefore, devastated the whole family when Tammy was diagnosed with kidney cancer in early 2019. Peterson provided regular updates on the whole journey and you could tell that this was a man that was really hurting. You could also decipher that the journey has been full of ups and downs.
Tammy was first diagnosed with what was called a mild and treatable form of cancer and underwent surgery for it in May 2019. The couple thought this was the end of it but Tammy began experiencing severe flank pains a few weeks after the surgery. They went back to the hospital and was informed that the first diagnosis was wrong; the lady had a serious form of cancer, akin to pancreatic cancer, and it had spread to the adjoining lymph node.
The diagnosis meant that Peterson and his wife spent the whole of 2019 in and out of the hospital as she dealt with surgeries and post-surgical complications. This affected the author’s speaking and other professional engagements. It also led to deep anxiety on his part, as he was quite worried about his wife’s health, which led to his abusing drugs. Thankfully, their respective families, as well as children, rallied around them and they were able to get through. Tammy is now in remission and hoping it remains so.
Their Daughter is a Blogger, Podcaster, and Advocate of Meat-only diet While His son is a Budding Singer
Peterson and his wife have two children named Mikhaila and Julian. Mikhaila is very active on social media and is a blogger as well as a podcaster. Her Don’t Eat That Blog, promotes an unusual meat-only diet, consisting of just beef, salt, and water, which she says has helped her to overcome her addiction to about ten drugs and live a healthy life. The lady also has an eponymous podcast where she holds intellectual discussions with a wide range of personalities including university professors, authors, and politicians. Mikhaila has an adorable daughter, called Scarlett, whom she welcomed in August 2017.
Julian, on the other hand, is also a papa. He and his wife, named Jillian, welcomed their first child, Elliot Peterson, in May 2020. Career-wise, Julian describes himself as a Kinetic Scientific and Exam Corp. He is also a singer and who has released about three songs titled So Far Gone, I Can See, and When You Leave Me.