Swedish government to provide income support to help compulsive rock fan go to concerts
In a pretty extraordinary story, The Local reports that 42 year old Roger Tullgren has been medically diagnosed with a non-substance compulsive disorder that means his addiction to heavy metal often impacts on his social and working life.
Three psychologists have now diagnosed the condition, which means that Tullgren is entitled to state benefits - including income support - so that he can attend concerts and indulge other parts of the addiction.
"I spoke to three psychologists and they finally agreed that I needed this to avoid being discriminated against," said Tullgren. "I signed 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 extra financial help'. So now I can turn up at a job interview dressed in my normal clothes and just hand the interviewers this piece of paper."
The addiction started in 1971 when his brother brought home a Black Sabbath album. He attended around 300 concerts last year, was fired from his last job due to the addiction and in his current job as a kitchen porter his boss allows Tullgren to miss shifts to attend concerts (as long as he makes up the hours), wear his own clothes and listen to metal (as long as it's not too loud when guests are in the restaurant).
The Local spoke to an occupational psychologist in Stockolm, who admitted to being baffled by the decision.
"I think it's extremely strange. Unless there is an underlying diagnosis it is absolutely unbelievable that the job centre would pay pay out. If somebody has a gambling addiction, we don't send them down to the racetrack. We try to cure the addiction, not encourage it," he said.
But Tullgren, who also plays in two bands, says that he'll never change.
"Some might say that I should grow up and learn to listen to other types of music but I can't. Heavy metal is my lifestyle," he said.