Pediatric bipolar disorder: An object of study in the creation of an illness – In the past decade bipolar disorder in children has been diagnosed with rapidly increasing frequency in North America, despite a century of psychiatric consensus that manic-depressive illness rarely had its onset before adolescence. This emergence has happened against a background of vigorous pharmaceutical company marketing of bipolar disorder in adults. In the absence of a license demonstrating efficacy for their compound for bipolar disorder in children, however, companies cannot actively market pediatric bipolar disorder. This paper explores some mechanisms that play a part in spreading the recognition of a disorder in populations for which pharmaceutical companies do not have a license. These include the role of academic experts, parent pressure groups, measurement technologies and the availability of possible remedies even if not licensed.