FASD Fact #41: FASD is not a mental illness.


  • FASD is a neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral disorder.
  • It is not a mental illness.
  • Mental illnesses can co-occur for people with FASDs, but not all people with FASDs have mental illnesses.
  • Secondary characteristics of depression, anxiety, isolation, aggression, and other reactions to unmet needs are common for people with FASDs.
  • When people with FASDs seek help with mental illnesses or secondary conditions, it’s important that they have access to providers and treatment options that fully understand FASD.