Orange Pop: Justin Soileau's future looks bright
Three years ago, singer-songwriter Justin Soileau (pronounced “swallow”) was in bad shape. He suffered from severe depression and anxiety, dulling his pain with copious amounts of alcohol and prescription drugs like Xanax and Valium. After graduating high school, the Texas native attended Lamar University in Beaumont, near his hometown. It was there, he says, that he really began to just hate everything.
“I don’t think it was totally because I wasn’t making music, but I think that was a big part of it,” he recalls during a recent phone interview. “I wasn’t doing anything I cared about or was actually motivated to do. I still lived at home, and even though I’ve gone through a lot of therapy I can’t really summarize what the main issues were.
“But chemically it was alcohol and benzodiazepines. I just really wanted to be sedated and oblivious. It wasn’t a party thing either. I never was a party-goer. I was just so anxious, uptight and depressed all of the time, even from when I was younger.”
In 2010 Soileau checked into a psychiatric hospital in Houston after sharing with his uncle that he was beginning to have suicidal thoughts. Soon after, it was recommended he transfer to a rehabilitation center in Newport Beach. “I was in that treatment facility for 10 months, which is a long time, but I did a little bit of outpatient treatment towards the end,” the 24-year-old shares.