Self-help author Dr Jordan Peterson checks into rehab for addiction, 'needs medical help'

Controversial Canadian psychologist Dr Jordan Peterson has checked himself into rehab as he tries to wean himself off prescribed medication.

On Thursday, Peterson's daughter, Mikhaila, posted a nearly nine-minute video on YouTube updating her followers on her family, including her mother who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in April.

While her mother, Tammy, has mostly recovered, several surgical complications and operations put massive stress on the family, including Dr Peterson - a self-help author who gained international attention for pushing back against political correctness. 

To deal with the stress, Dr Peterson was prescribed anti-anxiety medication Clonazepam, which Healthline says is used to treat panic disorder.

When Tammy recovered, Mikhaila said her father "tried to get off the medication he was prescribed. Turns out Clonazepam is hell to get off."

"He stopped cold-turkey in the summer after talking with a psychiatrist and experienced horrific physical withdrawal and anxiety."

To try and wean himself off the drug, Dr Peterson has checked himself into a New York rehabilitation centre, but Mikhaila says he is having a "miserable time". 

"I have never seen my dad like this. He is having a miserable time with it. It breaks my heart," she says.

"He decided to check himself into a place because he didn't want to stress mum out and wanted to get off of this as quickly as possible and honestly needs the medical help.

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

Dr Peterson shared the video on his Twitter account, writing: "At least life isn't dull".

He came to New Zealand earlier this year while promoting his self-help book 12 Rules for Life. While here, he criticised gender quotas and moves to allow sex markers on birth certificates to be changed.

Dr Peterson shot to fame in 2016 after releasing a series of YouTube videos where he makes remarks about what he calls an increasingly politically correct society. Among his controversial opinions are the views that women wear makeup in the workplace to be sexually provocativewhite privilege is a "Marxist lie" and people shouldn't have to comply with what gender pronouns others wish to be called by.

His book was also an international best-seller, including topping The Washington Post's bestsellers list. In January, he announced the book had sold more than three million copies.

It has been described as a self-help piece for young men, offering simple advice such as to "stand up straight" and "clean your room".