Does Zuko have anxiety? (+3 Main causes)

The current detailed blogpost will be answering if Zuko has anxiety. We will also be checking out the other mental health conditions that Zuko might be suffering from, while exploring a few reasons which may have contributed to these.

Does Zuko have anxiety?

Yes, Zuko has anxiety. While the royal was branded as a very domineering personality in his conquests, Zuko can be seen to be suffering from anxiety and stress at many points in the show, mainly due to various emotional conflicts.

The main conflicts of the fire-bender come as a result of his toxic relationship with his father. As a result of his need to please his father at all costs, Zuko aims to capture the Avatar. However, things start falling apart for the royal when he realizes that his father is indeed a tyrant.

Mental health conditions of Zuko

Zuko shows a lot of anxiety and stress at frequent intervals in the show, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The anxiety that the royal portrays comes as a result of his conflicts with himself and his true aims and goals. The mental health conditions that Zuko may be suffering from are:

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Zuko is certainly the victim of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The trauma in the past mainly refers to the abuse that he received from his father, along with the fake propaganda that he believed in Fire Nation.

He also undergoes a lot of emotional trauma as a child, especially with his relationship to his sister, Azula, who was clearly favored above him in everything. His mother who loved him deeply also had to leave him early on in order to save his life.

This was seen as abandonment by Zuko and this clearly damaged him. This led Zuko to become excessively fragile with his emotions and therefore, the fire-bender is definitely not able to control and regulate his feelings and actions towards others.


Some mental health experts who have studied the psychology of Avatar: The Last Airbender, have explained that Zuko might be actually suffering from Autism. This is mainly because of the extreme mirroring that Zuko shows when it comes to his sister, Azula.

Mirroring is one of the important signs of Autism, and Autistic children may mirror the actions of others even if they don’t clearly understand the reasons and the motives for that particular action.

Even if the action bites him back, Zuko can be seen to model and mirror Azula. In one such instance, Zuko tries to fire-bend, even if he is not remotely prepared for it, as a way of mirroring what Azula is doing.

Another sign that Zuko might indeed by autistic in nature is due to his problems with his fine motor skills. Autism or ASD may cause problems in fine motor skills which can make certain activities like writing very difficult.

When it comes to Zuko, his fine motor skills are seen to be lacking when he attempts fire-bending, especially before his rigorous training. This is another reason why certain mental health experts state that Zuko might be indeed autistic.

One more sign of Zuko’s autism is when he can be seen practicing his conversations and interactions with a frog. In order to pull off being socially ‘normal’ in front of others, those who have autism may usually practice their social interactions in private.

Zuko can also be seen to be lacking in empathy, especially when others are expressing their emotions and feelings to him. He is often shown to be looking somewhere else, avoiding eye contact and not showing emotions.

This is another tell-tale sign of autism that leads many experts on the show, Avatar: The Last Airbender, to decide on Zuko’s diagnosis. However, it is not as if he does not show compassion, but more like he is not capable of showing compassion to the fullest effect.

Not only does he struggle in understanding the feelings and emotions of others, he also struggles in understanding sarcasm, body-language and has the inability to distinguish between truth and lies. Thus, he easily accepts whatever Azula throws at him, including going back home with her.

Another instance where Zuko can be seen to be struggling in understanding the body-language and feelings of others is when he barges into Sokka’s tent when she is clearly waiting for Suki. Despite seeing candles, roses and Sokka’s pose, Zuko still sits down and starts talking.

Autistic people often find it hard to understand the body-language of others and tend to only absorb words at face-value. In this case, Zuko fails to understand what is actually going on and believes that Sukko is free since she is alone.

Autism can also lead to sensory issues in a person, and this can be seen in Zuko as well. Firstly, he struggles to react when someone else is hugging him. Furthermore, he can be seen to require a lot of alone time to decompress and frequently lashes out when he is interrupted.

Finally, another sign that Zuko may be living with Autism is because he finds it hard to accept when plans change all of a sudden. This is the reason why he literally breaks down when he stops hunting for the Avatar and decides to free Appa.

Stockholm syndrome

Another mental illness that Zuko is showing signs of is Stockholm syndrome. In this case, it is in relation to his father. Zuko’s father is openly abusive and brash towards him, to the extent that he burns his face permanently.

Zuko’s father is also the reason why his mother abandons him and clearly favors Azula above Zuko all the time. Despite all this, Zuko still tries to please him and is in pursuit of capturing the Avatar in order to satisfy him.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Another theory of mental health issues that Zuko might be suffering from is Borderline Personality Disorder. Zuko can be seen struggling to control his emotions, especially his anger, and can be observed to lash out frequently.

He also struggles to accept change and does not like it when things go out of plan. He also has difficulties in creating and maintaining social relationships with others. Borderline Personality Disorder matches many of these symptoms.

Causes of Zuko’s anxiety

Zuko’s anxiety among his other mental health issues can be blamed on a lot of emotional trauma that he undergoes as a mere child. The different causes of Zuko’s anxiety have been showcased in the following points.

  • The main reason for Zuko’s anxiety is because of the abuse that he experienced from his father. His father continually physically and emotionally abused and assaulted him. He also ended up burning Zuko’s face permanently.
  • Zuko had a healthy relationship with his mother who was the light of his life. However, she was forced to abandon Zuko in order to protect his life. This abandonment from his mother also caused Zuko to stop trusting people.
  • Another reason for Zuko’s anxiety and other mental health issues is because of the extreme sibling rivalry between him and Azula. Azula was clearly the more favored child in the eyes of Zuko’s father and this caused a big rift between the two.

Even though Azula is the younger sibling, Zuko desperately tries to gain his father’s attention and approval by modeling his behavior after his sister. Azula is no better, as she hurls insult after insult at Zuko and also puts his life in danger at regular intervals.


The current detailed blogpost has answered if Zuko has anxiety. We have also checked out the other mental health conditions that Zuko might be suffering from, while exploring a few reasons which may have contributed to these.

If you like this blogpost, please leave your comments and questions in the space below.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!