The Anglican bishop, the Right Reverend Victoria Matthews, is seeing a ''deep weariness of soul'' among Christchurch residents.
A business leader is hearing accounts of exhaustion, trauma and stress. A clinical psychologist says some people are at breaking point.
The two big aftershocks that rattled Christchurch this week - magnitude 5.5 and 6 - have heaped another layer of anxiety on to those trying to survive in the earthquake-ravaged city.
On September 4 last year, after the first big earthquake hit - a 7.1-magnitude - thousands dug in, dusted off and carried on.
The deadly February 22 quake, which killed 182, left many with no choice but to leave as houses and workplaces crumbled.
But this week, as the quakes again brought the damaged city to a standstill, opening sinkholes in roads, toppling buildings, flooding streets and bursting pipes, it was the mental pressure that was being examined.
Anxiety was at least partially to blame for the exodus of more than 10,000 school students since the February 22 quake. According to latest figures, 3660 students have returned to their Christchurch schools, but 6546 - or 8.6 per cent of the total - have not.
There were fears this week that the latest quakes would spark a renewed flight from the region. Even the Prime Minister, John Key, recognised the potential problem, calling on locals to stay if they could.
''I think the most significant damage at the moment is to the confidence of Cantabrians who really want all this to end and to feel there's some clear air to start rebuilding their city.
''We don't think it's a situation where people should give up hope in Christchurch. I haven't given up hope on Christchurch and I certainly won't be.''READ MORE