Brain Health and Mood

Stephen Hawking on Depression: You Can Escape the Black Hole

Stephen Hawking

Photo by Alvaro Herrera / CC BY

Stephen Hawkins has become virtually a household name in the world of science. He is also an inspiration to many, having made great contributions to science while facing physical adversity that could have broken most of us. For those suffering from depression, Stephen Hawking recently offered his counsel.

That hawking is an extraordinary human being cannot be gainsaid. And he would know something about coming out on top no matter what one is facing life.

Stephen Hawking: No Stranger to Adversity

You see, the renowned physicist, cosmologist, and professor was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 1963 at the age of 21 and was given only two years live. The disease progressively damages parts of the nervous system, which leads to muscle weakness and wasting.[1] But 53 years later, Hawking shows no signs of slowing down. He recently celebrated his 74th birthday.

Not only that but, he has not let the severe physical handicap brought on by his disease get the better of him. Hawking has since gained fame and celebrity status. He is perhaps the most famous genius today, and not just for his resilience to an incapacitating disease, but mainly due to his contributions to science.

The Black Hole of Depression

He may be a genius, but he is still human. It would therefore be a safe bet that he has had his lows over the decades especially since learning of his disease. Recently appeared to analogize a topic he is perhaps best known for with depression; black holes. Many people who suffer from depression equate to being in a black hole.

While speaking recently at the Royal Institute of London on the eve of his 74th birthday, Hawking told the 400-strong audience consisting of scientists that with new thinking it is possible to escape black holes.

“The message of this lecture is that black holes aren’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up – there’s a way out.”

Hawking’s daughter, speaking at the same event, said of her father;

“He has a very enviable wish to keep going and the ability to summon all his reserves, all his energy, all his mental focus and press them all into that goal of keeping going.”


[1] NHS (UK): Motor neurone disease

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