Alex, 21, Sydney

Childcare worker and musician, Alex, 21, Sydney, has lived with the symptoms of bipolar disorder since the age of 14. Initially suspected to be battling depression and anxiety, Alex was eventually diagnosed with bipolar I disorder by a psychiatrist two years later, at just 16.

Having taken a plethora of medications for the past seven years, Alex has only recently been able to keep his symptoms, including mania, severe depression and psychotic episodes, under any semblance of control.

Despite almost missing out on completing his HSC due to frequent hospitalisations, Alex is now enjoying life, working with primary school children while writing music and playing keyboard in his spare time.

Alex is participating in the Genetics of Bipolar Disorder Study to help raise awareness of, and assist researchers to identify the genes responsible for bipolar disorder, to ultimately improve treatments for the illness.