I’ve been debating whether to answer this question for a while, cause my opinion is rather different to a lot of people that I follow on tumblr. In short, yes, I think Azula exhibits psychopathic symptoms before and after her mental breakdown. But on the other hand I recognise that the way A:TLA categorised her problems (throwing around the word “crazy!” all the time) was not at all helpful and has undeniably contributed negative stigma towards mental illness.
I must iterate I’m not an qualified expert. On the other hand if you speak to me in 8 months I will have BSc in Psychology, I’m very familiar with the DSM IV, have done numerous research papers on mental illness and grew up in a family where one of my siblings suffers from an incredibly severe mental illness. So I’m no expert, but I’m not an idiot on these matters either.
So what I would say on this matter is as such; I personally can see a lot of symptoms, particularly in Azula’s early life that would signify a malignant disorder. Harm towards animals, lack of guilt or fear and over aggressiveness. Later on in life she has an obvious tendency to lie and a lot of the more passive sympotms I listed before are enhanced in a more psychopathic streak.
But then again any psychiatrist worth their salt will tell you that it is incredibly unwise to start giving diagonsis to young children. Azula is 14. She’s also fictional. There is no way I could ever give a satisfactory analysis of her condition because all we see is glimpses.
So my point is this. From personal experiences and the academic knowledge I have on this subject, I believe Azula does exhibit symptoms that are related to a psychopathic disorder. Do I think the show handled this potential mental health issue well? No. Do I think we should be analyzing Azula’s condition in hopes of a diagnosis? No. She’s too young and there’s actually not much point. Azula has had issues her whole life, we can all agree on that.