University of Toronto Psychology Professor Jordan Peterson announced his return to Canada in a video statement Tuesday afternoon, marking his return home after spending “much of the last eighteen months” in hospitals, for himself and for his family.
Peterson, who has struggled with Benzodiazepine usage and withdrawal, credited his family and friends for getting him through what he called “the worst” period of his life, which took him to treatment centers around the world, including Russia and Serbia.
“But I’m alive — and I have plans for the future,” said Peterson, again thanking his loved ones for going “above and beyond the call of duty” to help in his time of need.
Peterson also pointed to his work productivity, specifically writing about helpful thoughts “despite my anguish” and “lack of hope for the future” as having served an important role to him over the past year. “Hopefully, much of that is behind me, and I can return to something resembling a normal life,” added the psychology professor.
Back in February, Mikhaila Peterson, 28, his daughter, opened up on her podcast about the struggles of her family during what she said was a year of “absolute hell,” which included her mother’s cancer diagnosis, which they initially thought would be terminal.
“Dad was put on a low dose of a benzodiazepine a few years ago for anxiety following an extremely severe autoimmune reaction to food. He took the medication as prescribed. We weren’t aware that he was developing a physical dependence on the drug until last April when my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and the dose of the medication increased. It became apparent that he was experiencing a paradoxical reaction to the medication, meaning the benzos did the opposite of what they’re supposed to do. These reactions are rare but are not unheard of,” said the professor’s daughter.
“For the last six months, he’s been in horrible, unbearable discomfort from this drug, made worse when trying to remove it because of the physical dependence. We took him to several hospitals in North America where he experienced multiple cases of misdiagnosis, and the addition of more medications to cover the response he was experiencing from the benzodiazepines. He nearly died several times,” she added.
The professor has since revealed that his wife has made a “miraculous” recovery.
As for his future plans, Peterson said he will start working on YouTube videos devoted to Proverbs, and at a later point in time, plans to release a biblical lecture series covering Exodus, similar to his lecture series on Genesis from 2017. He also said that his YouTube videos will soon be professionally dubbed into six different languages, a roll-out that Peterson said will happen at some point in the next few months.
He concluded: “Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I’m back in Toronto, that I’m in much better health — although still severely impaired, especially in the morning — but I can work again and I really want to, and to let you know that with God’s grace and mercy, I’ll be able to start generating original material once again and pick up where I left off.”