Background: Musical obsession has been reported as the “stuck song syndrome” and can be accompanied by obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Musical obsession is the phenomenon where a particular set of known musical notes are perceived repeatedly. We present a case of major depression with musical obsession. In this case, vortioxetine improved both depressive symptoms and musical obsession.
Case presentation: A female, 34-year-old, high school teacher presented with a depressed mood, anergia, difficulty in concentration, poor motivation, restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, and loss of appetite. She was diagnosed with major depression by her family physician and prescribed escitalopram (20 mg/day). Her depressive state partially responded to escitalopram. When she had been depressed, she also experienced musical obsessions as repetitive commercial tunes or instrumental notes inside her head that were not under conscious voluntary control and lasting several hours, causing a high level of distress in her daily life. After switching from escitalopram to vortioxetine (20 mg/day), her depressive symptoms and musical obsession symptoms were ameliorated.
Conclusions: This case report endorses the utility of vortioxetine for major depression with musical obsession, and further studies should be conducted to establish the optimal treatment.