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24 year old male- chronic sleepiness/feeling depressed

I am a control room operator. I work alone. I work 12 hour rotating shifts. Usually 7 nights in a row with 2 days off then 7 days in a row with 2 days off. I normally get around 7 hours of sleep a night. Throughout the day I go through debilitating bouts of sleepiness. This makes it hard to drive, work or focus on tasks.  Additionally, I get frequent hot flashes and dizzy spells.I also feel depressed sometimes.  I have no known health issues. I have been to my doctor and all they did was prescribe Meclizine for dizziness and antibiotics. My BP was 140/90 something. Also had blood work done and it came back normal.   Does anyone have any ideas?
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Avatar universal
First question is, why antibiotics?  Did they diagnose anything that would require this?  Taking antibiotics creates problems with your digestive and immune systems, as well as mental health in some cases as it kills of beneficial organisms that help with these things.  Giving an antibiotic without reason is how we got into a mess with them, and so I would again wonder, did they find something that led them to do that?  If so, what was the issue they were attacking, as it might have something to do with what's going on, and if it was just docs throwing drugs at you, that's not a great idea.  A possible problem is one that some people who are on shift work as you are have, which is their circadian rhythms get thrown off and they end up really tired.  Melatonin can help with this, but in your case you seem to be sleeping fine and sleep is what is usually thrown off, but the quality of your sleep may not be what you need because of a sensitivity to shift work.  So there's one possibility.  It's a hard one to treat, however, as the way to see if that's the cause would probably mean stopping shift work and see if that fixes things.  Which means you're out of a job, so not a great thing to contemplate, but the possibility is there.  Some of what you describe could be caused by hormonal problems, which could be an imbalance of sexual hormones or a thyroid problem.  Testing for a thyroid problem requires testing docs don't do unless you specifically tell them to do it, as the usual blood test really tests your adrenal glands, which are intimately connected to thyroid function but you have to figure out which part is off to fix.  As to getting depressed sometimes, do you mean feeling down or sad sometimes or depressed?  Not the same thing -- one is a disorder and the other is the normal fluctuations of life.  There are emotional possibilities -- you hate your job, you hate working alone, the shift work interferes with your social life, etc.  Can't tell you what it is, but there are so many possibilities that the average exam with a doc don't go deep enough into to discover, not only the above but also blood sugar problems, nutritional deficiencies (you don't discuss you diet), lack of exercise, etc.  To dig deeper you might need a better doc or a deeper interaction with your current one, and need to look at you lifestyle and see what's in there that might be bugging you physically and mentally.  You could also have a sleep disorder, such as apnea.  Just a lot to get into.  Keep searching, and if your current doc doesn't seem to be doing the right things, find a different doc, but also look at natural medicine topics, such as exercise, diet, and the like.  
Thanks for responding. I really have no idea why I was prescribed antibiotics. I think I am going to stop taking them, as I think they are messing with my appetite. I am going to schedule an appointment with a family doctor to hopefully get to the bottom of this. I went to an urgent care last time.  As for feeling depressed, I dont feel it all the time. I just work so much and don't get to spend a lot of time with my wife. Also the way I've been feeling for the past few weeks also has me feeling down. I cried yesterday for really no reason at all while I was at work.  I will admit I do not have the best lifestyle as far as diet and exercise.  My job requires me to sit at computer screens for most of a 12 hour shift and I tend to eat unhealthy foods and drink lots of energy drinks while I'm working.
Probably your problem.  Looking at computers for a long time does a number on some people.  Shift work does a number on many people.  Not exercising does a number on everyone.  Eating poorly does a number on everyone.  And as you get older, the body has a harder and harder time adapting and that's when it catches up to you.  Always time to change, though.  I'd recommend replacing those energy drinks with natural energy, such as a healthy shake.  Taking algae like spirulina might give you some energy and also help detox that computer screen out of you a bit.  Seaweed can help with that as well.  But the crying and everything else does sound like you're not happy.  And it sounds like what you're not happy with is your job, maybe?  Which is a tough thing to deal with.  
Just got lab results back. They told me my testosterone levels were low. They didnt say how low but said we would discuss treatment at my next appointment.
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