Does Wearing High Heels Cause Schizophrenia?

By Marvin Ross

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

No, this is not a joke. It is an example of the weird pseudoscience and anti-science beliefs that proliferate and impact treatment. I came across this when reading the blog respectful insolence written by a doctor (pseudonym of Orac) who regularly debunks bad medicine. On this occasion, he was again going after a medical journal called Medical Hypotheses that covers weird theories. He was talking about a paper on how wearing masks in the age of covid is dangerous and debunking that.

Before critiquing this bad idea, he mentioned the various bits of dubious theories covered by Medical Hypotheses that actually find their way into pubmed. What caught my eye was high-heeled shoes are linked to schizophrenia. Intrigued, I looked it up and it was written by Jarl Flensmark who lives in Malmo Sweden. This is the pub med entry

“Heeled footwear began to be used more than a 1000 years ago, and led to the occurrence of the first cases of schizophrenia. Industrialization of shoe production increased schizophrenia prevalence. Mechanization of the production started in Massachusetts, spread from there to England and Germany, and then to the rest of Western Europe. A remarkable increase in schizophrenia prevalence followed the same pattern.”

“High rates of schizophrenia are found among first-generation immigrants from regions with a warmer climate to regions with a colder climate, where the use of shoes is more common. Still higher rates among second-generation immigrants are caused by the use of shoes during the onset of walking at an age of about 11-12 months.”


“Bicycle riding reduces depression in schizophrenia due to stronger stimulation by improved lengthening contractions of the triceps surae muscles. Electrode stimulation of cerebellar loops normally stimulated by mechanoreceptors in the lower extremities could improve functioning in schizophrenia.”

Jarl has also published a paper on how the wearing of flat shoes has therapeutic potential in psychiatry and neurology and that flat shoes promote neurogenesis. But I should mention that at least he does mention that schizophrenia exists and warrants further research.

While we may laugh, people do take this stuff seriously. The alleged study showing the dangers of wearing face masks has in the words of Orac “gone viral in the COVID-19-denying/minimizing, antimask, anti-public health interventions, antivaccine crankosphere.”

It is because of the growth of anti-science and anti-psychiatry that I wrote my latest book, Anti-Psychiatry and the UN Assault on the Mentally Ill. The lesson to be learned is to be suspicious of what you read and to check the reliability of sources.

6 thoughts on “Does Wearing High Heels Cause Schizophrenia?

  1. Anti-Psychiatry and the UN Assault on the Mentally Ill. Well done Marvin.

    Just finished reading it. It connects all the dots. I got two copies and therefore will pass one on to someone who has more energy than i have. Clearly someone must pick up the pieces and push for a much more enlightened approach to serious psychotic illnesses. It is a crime that so many are left to their dangerous untreated psychoses. Ontario paved the way to a nonsense Mental Health Act …and B.C is trying to follow in the same flawed footsteps.

    Popping on high heels could gain the desired hospital admission. They fix bones don’t they! But there again men would not wear them !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi David,…. Anti-psychiatry, of the United Nations specious variety, comes about for a number of interesting reasons. The motive is that it brings a lot of financial support to the UN. First of all the fact that those of the Islamic faith do not believe in psychiatry as you have known it in the course of your career. They are very anti-psychiatry. Communist China also has a very peculiar viewpoint, similar to that which prevailed in the USSR during the Soviet era. There some major aspects of what we refer to as mental illness were being routinely utilized as leading mechanisms within the context of totalitarian social control. When that sort of thing stretched across foreign borders, as it was increasingly doing during the years leading up to the Cold War era, foreign influence and some types of insanity become very peculiar bedfellows. We do suspect Communist China of following the same basic model but with much more efficient means, engaging in similar practices, to those that were technically and socio-psychologically ordered into development and utilization by Joseph Stalin. No doubt technologies do continue to be developed, and they do evolve. They also develop in parallel with communications technologies. Why China has been so intent on gaining control over global communications systems, in one way or another. A tool for the CCP, PLA that they were counting on, but which they now may be deprived of. In the sense of all of that the human mind can become an even more precariously situated battleground. As to the UN we have to realize that it is playing to nearly half the world’s population who do not believe in psychiatry, as you believe in it, and as most in our society tends to understand it. They simply have too much use for madness within a variety of ideological contexts. What can be worse is when our own, western nations, deviate down that same path, as did Germany while under the National Socialists (Nazis), utilizing those same principles, technically and socio-psychologically, to exert their own particular species of social and cultural control. Their political program was also reliant on the utilization of madness. Not so much its understanding mitigation and cure, in the sense that you understand it, but its use as a tool for exerting social control with extremist political intent. I have long believed that more psychiatrists need to be national security cleared to a level where they can be let in on some of what psychiatrists typically do not know about the global battleground that is intent on influence and control of the human mind. The nation that controls the human mind can control the world, is a given fact. We need that weapon (national security cleared psychiatrists) now more than ever, for the sake of national defense, within the context of protecting the fundamental values of the free world. Unfortunately I see indications that that is not actually happening and that psychiatrists, rather than being let in, are largely being locked out. On that level they are typically not trusted. That in itself is a problem. They simply have not been given the clearance, and acknowledged as having a “need to know”, in some very crucial areas. Areas related to what is becoming an ever present and increasing danger within a not so stable and not so sane world. The idea that the world is more stable, more sane, that so many buy into is a mass media lie in itself. A big lie. The idea that “it will all be all right”, in the end, is far from true, if the world is allowed to continue down the same course as it has been long headed and keeps going. You can quote me on that if you wish.
    We should get together for a beer sometime. I have been vaccinated, and that is actually my second exposure to the Chinese virus.


    1. Sorry about that Marvin. I mean Marvin and wrote David.
      The link to it was from something of his. Anyway, it could be addressed the same to either one of you.


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