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PORTLAND -- Is the seemingly non-stop rain already making you gloomy?

Researchers believe as many as 20-percent of people who live in the Northwest likely have some of the symptoms of winter depression right now.

They also explained that the rain is not the real driver in winter depression it s the lack of light.

Symptoms of seasonal depression - also known as seasonal affective disorder -- include sleeping longer, feeling groggy during the day, craving carbohydrates and just generally feeling the urge to eat more.

The mood of winter depression starts as the days get shorter it could start as early as June 21st for some people because that's when the days start to shorten, said Dr. Al Lewy OHSU Seasonal Affected Disorders researcher. But it s around this time of the year October and November, when the days are so short that they trigger a reaction in certain people and they get depressed.

Amber Waller doesn't like waking up to dark and rainy mornings. I hate it because it makes me feel like I should be laying on the couch like on a Sunday not doing anything, she said.

Dr. Lewy says seasonal depression affects mostly women between the ages of 15 and 55 years old. He said its unclear why men are not affected as often.

Lewy offered a few tips on how to stay happy on the darkest of days:

- Get up at sunrise if you can, to set your internal body clock.

- Get outside for at least 20 minutes if you wake up before sunrise

- Get a light box to help

The wet streets can be a difficult challenge, too. I don t enjoy the driving part of it, said Chelsie Sedore. I don t enjoy that people don t know how to drive in the rain. And it makes your commute a lot longer.

But others said they look on the bright side. For what we have to offer here in Portland and Oregon in general, the sunshine, and the hour-and-a-half drive to the coast or mountains, it makes it worth it, said Anhtuan Huynh.

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