BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-201064

Treatment of anxiety from musical obsessions with a cognitive behaviour therapy tool

  1. Kari Raaska2
  1. 1Institute of Behavioral Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2Kellokoski Hospital, Tuusula, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lassi A Liikkanen, lassi.liikkanen{at}


Musical obsessions and hallucinations are disturbing experiences of repeating internal music. Antipsychotic medication can sometimes reduce these symptoms but can also trigger or augment them. We report the case of a female patient with schizophrenia with drug-resistant obsessive musical hallucinations. The patient volunteered to participate in a 9-month pilot study to follow the development of the condition using an involuntary music and mood inventory. The patient perceived benefits from the intervention, including reduced anxiety, increased feeling of being in control and understanding the condition better. Findings from this case study suggest that cognitive therapy can be a useful complementary method of care for persons with musical obsessions. The presented tool requires further investigations among those with this rare condition.

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