The number of people suffering depression has risen in the city during the recent record-breaking spell of wet weather, psychologists said this week.
Rain clouds have been showering Shanghai for the past 20 days, smashing a 136-year record for the longest continuous downpour. But it also seems to have dampened residents' spirits, too.
Photo taken on February 26, 2009 shows a cloudy day in Shanghai. Rain clouds have been showering Shanghai for the past 20 days, smashing a 136-year record for the longest continuous downpour.
Since mid-February, the psychological department at Shanghai Zhongshan Hospital has had between 70 and 80 patients a day - around 10 percent more than usual - while other local mental health centers have seen an increase of about 20 percent, reported the Shanghai Youth Daily, adding that many were young or middle-aged office workers or had a history of depression.
It quoted a doctor who put the recent rise down to seasonal affective disorder, also known as "winter blues", caused by the recent bad weather.
Symptoms include sadness, anxiety and inability to concentrate.
"It has been cold, dank, dark yes, it absolutely has affected my mood," resident Liu Si, 28, told China Daily. "I'm tired and lazy when it's rainy and I develop a sense of great sadness and loss. I don't know what to do."
The rain was expected to ease off this week but more showers are expected this weekend, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau yesterday.
Meanwhile, mental health experts have suggested residents help avoid suffering the disorder by listening to light music, using bright lights in their home or office, or indulging in easy exercise.