Colleen Copelan, MD

Board Certified Psychiatrist, specializing in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry located in Camarillo, CA

Between 5-11% of young Americans have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an under-diagnosed, disabling mental health disorder. Colleen Copelan, MD, a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, diagnoses and treats children and teens with ADHD at her private practice in Camarillo, California. Call Dr. Copelan today to make an appointment if you're concerned about your child's behavior and mental health.


What is ADHD?

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a prevalent mental health disorder that psychiatrists usually diagnose in children and teenagers. It affects your child's ability to sit still, pay attention, and control their impulses. 

Many factors contribute to ADHD, including chemical abnormalities in the regions of the brain that control problem solving, planning, impulsivity, and the ability to understand other people's actions.

ADHD might present as primarily hyperactive or inattentive. However, many young people have a combination of hyperactive and inattentive symptoms. 

When left untreated, ADHD can interfere with your child's ability to function at school and make friends. It can also lead to other mental health conditions, including mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder. Their behavior can become increasingly disruptive to your family life. 

What are the signs of ADHD?

ADHD causes several symptoms. Your child might have inattentive symptoms such as:

  • Doesn't pay attention
  • Makes careless mistakes on schoolwork
  • Doesn't follow through on instructions
  • Has trouble staying focused
  • Doesn't seem to listen, even when spoken to directly
  • Has poor organizational skills
  • Frequently loses homework and other items 
  • Easily distracted

Your child might also have hyperactive symptoms, which include:

  • Running and playing at inappropriate times
  • Fidgeting
  • Inability to stay seated
  • Being extremely talkative
  • Interrupting and blurting out answers
  • Having trouble waiting for turns
  • Not playing quietly

Sometimes, it's hard to tell if a child is healthy, excited, and energetic, or if their behavior is a sign of a problem. 

Generally, if your child's behavior has persisted for six months or more and is getting in the way of their success at school or disrupting life at home, you should make an appointment with Dr. Copelan. 

How do you diagnose ADHD?

Dr. Copelan provides thorough evaluations to diagnose ADHD. She first meets with you to talk about your child's behavior, medical history, and other lifestyle factors. This background is critical to diagnosis and treatment planning. 

Then, Dr. Copelan meets with your child. She uses a variety of diagnostic techniques, depending on your child's age and verbal abilities. Throughout the assessment, she looks for ADHD symptoms to confirm the diagnosis. 

How do you treat ADHD?

Dr. Copelan creates a personalized treatment plan to address your child's specific needs. She often combines medication, counseling, and lifestyle changes in a multidisciplinary approach. 

Medication can help relieve your child's symptoms, and therapy teaches them strategies to improve their concentration and impulse control. Many young people also benefit from adding physical activity to their daily routine and cutting sugar and processed food from their diet. 

Call Colleen Copelan, MD, today to make an appointment if you're concerned that your child has ADHD. 



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