Rock fanatic given permission to miss shifts and wear genre gear to work after psychologists agree he has compulsive condition

Ten-year battle: Roger TullgrenA heavy metal fan in Sweden is being paid income support to help pay for going to concerts – because psychologists agree he’s addicted to music.

Roger Tullgren, 42, also has dispensation to miss work shifts to attend shows. And when he does appear in the Hassleholm restaurant which employs him as a kitchen porter, he’s permitted to dress in the kind of clothes many of us would be sent home for wearing – and he’s allowed to play his own music while he works.

Father-of-two Tullgren tells The Local: “I’ve been trying for ten years to get this classified as a handicap. Finally three psychologists agreed I needed help to avoid being discriminated against.

“I have a form saying: ‘Roger feels compelled to show his heavy metal style. This puts him in a difficult situation on the labour market. Therefore he needs financial help.’

“Now I can turn up at a job interview in my normal clothes and just hand the interviewer this piece of paper.”

The Black Sabbath fan says he goes to more than 300 gigs a year and often misses work to do it. Employment Service staff called psychologists to asses Tullgren’s behaviour and they agreed he exhibited the symptoms of a non-substance compulsive condition – and so he qualifies for government payments on top of his wages.

His current boss is happy to help him deal with his addiction and allows him to make up missed shifts at other times.

But a Stockholm psychologist who hasn’t examined Tullgren says: “I think it’s extremely strange. Unless there’s an underlying diagnosis it’s absolutely unbelievable the job centre would pay out. If someone has a gambling addiction we don’t send them down to the race track. We try to cure it, not encourage it.”

Tullgren, who plays bass and guitar in two bands, is unrepentant: “Some might say I should grow up – but heavy metal is my lifestyle.”

Please note: This is an out-of-date news story, originally published in 2007. Rock News Desk apologises for the error in our sourcing.

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