his long struggle with depression

his long struggle with depression

Renaud fights against many demons. (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Honored this Tuesday, May 10, 2022 on France 2 in the program “Happy Birthday Renaud”, the singer celebrates his 70th birthday. As well known for his music as for his long battle against addictions, the artist has been fighting for many years against the demon of depression. His life is made up of ups and downs against which he must fight on a daily basis.

The issue of mental health is increasingly present in the world of show business, and spectators are gradually becoming aware that their favorite stars are far from seeing life in pink on a daily basis. Renaud is one of those tortured artists. He has never hidden his difficulties from his public, and in particular his fight against alcoholism, an illness which has forced him to take many breaks in his career, and which has had a serious impact on his general health. The singer does not hide either being a heavy smoker and having difficulty drawing a line under the cigarette, however enemy of the singers. But Renaud also struggles with depression, even if he doesn’t bring up the subject so easily.

The revelations of his brother

In 2018, in the columns of Paris Match, David Séchan had put words to the ills of his brother. “Renaud suffers from a manic-depressive illness.” The man explains that the singer’s entourage is fighting alongside him to help him in this daily struggle: “Dominique, his first wife, Romane, his second wife, and myself have tried everything, with all our strength. , to get him out of there. His morale is complicated to manage. He relapsed among his demons, after having been at the top again with his last album which sold more than 800,000 copies. He is at home, I will see him. He’s doing much better.”

Video. “Not seeing my children grow up …”: Renaud, addict to cigarettes, confides in his anxieties

The subject had already been mentioned in 2011 in an interview given to TV Mag by the author and interpreter of Mistral Gagnant himself. “I constantly have the feeling of being persecuted, followed, listened to, spied on on my email and on my cell phone by people who want to harm me. I have very specific paranoia… I’m also afraid of dying . I don’t know where it comes from, it’s a disease”, he confided at the time, in parallel with his fear of returning to the path of alcoholism: “I experienced addiction and I don’t want to fall into it again.” A will that was unfortunately not enough to counter the artist’s discomfort: “I’m washed out, I’m withering. This fucking boredom prevents me from writing and the lack of inspiration makes me freaking out, because I feel like I no longer exist socially as an artist.”

A depression linked to politics?

In his song Boucan d’enfer, Renaud sang in the early 2000s: “We recognize happiness, it seems, by the noise it makes when it goes away (…) mine went away yesterday, after twenty banks from under my roof.” And according to David Séchan, politics had a strong influence in the disappearance of his brother’s happiness in life: “First there was the fall of ideals. Close to the Communist Party, he went to sing in Moscow where his concert had been knowingly sabotaged by the power in place. It had touched him deeply, as if all his dreams were collapsing, as if he understood for the first time that this was a dictatorship,” he said. at Paris Match.

A feeling that was revived shortly after by the death of Coluche, Renaud’s great friend and godfather of his daughter Lolita: “They were so close that Coluche wanted Renaud to sign a paper: in the event of misfortune, he would become the official father. of Lolitas.” Then, that of Pierre Desproges, to whom he was also very close. “When Renaud talks about this period, he speaks more of melancholy than of depression. It’s probably prettier. I would rather call it a manic-depressive illness.”

In 2021, the twin brother of Renaud also evoked the impact of the malaise of the singer on the occasion of the documentary “Renaud, my brother”. And in particular on his divorce with his first wife, Dominique Quilichini, in 1999. “It was a bit of a descent into hell, which led to the break-up of the couple. What is exceptional is that it is a couple who loves each other, who leaves each other. I am very moved to speak about it, because it is the truth”. He also believes that it was at this time that his brother began to sink into alcoholism: “He started drinking too much, when he never drank. Alcohol became, if not a drug , something that soothed him, which also stupefied him.”

The rare confidences of Renaud on his depression

For his part, Renaud rarely put words to what he felt. One of the rare statements on this subject was made in music, in the lyrics of the song On va pas s’laisser pourrir, in 2019: “I know a singer friend who lost ten years of his life / Ten years of wandering and misfortune, depression, hypochondria / All because of pastis, Marseille’s only poison / Because of a life far too sad, because of a life without sunshine.” As he returns to the front of the stage once again freed from his addiction to alcohol, it only remains to hope that Renaud has also rid himself of his depression.


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See also: Renaud celebrates his 70th birthday on France 2: Great return on stage, his daughter Lolita present and proud