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Dr. Michelle Advice
Dr. Michelle K. Murray, CEO of Nexus Family Healing and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, answers questions about family relations or mental health. Submit Your Question.


man in his 20s contemplating

Managing My Relationship With My Birth Mother

My birth mother gave me up for adoption when I was a newborn. I am now 24 years old and connected with my birth mother and her family two years ago. At first, it was great to meet the extended family and learn more about my birth story. However, I am getting more and more uncomfortable with our interactions. My birth mother seems to be very moody and wants more contact than I am prepared to give. She can lash out emotionally quite easily and I have learned that she has a lot of mental health issues. I don’t enjoy this relationship and don’t have that strong of a connection to her. How do I back away without hurting her feelings?
Worried Mother

I Am Worried My Son and His Wife Are Physically Abusive With Each Other

I just moved to a new state and temporarily moved in with my son and daughter-in-law until I find an apartment. This has been a very difficult living situation because I am learning that they fight a lot. A recent incident occurred that really shook me up. My son and daughter-in-law were fighting and my son pushed her quite hard and she pushed him back. I was really worried about what would have happened if I had not been there and jumped in the middle. I am worried that they are being physically abusive with each other and that their children are observing this. What do I do? It has stressed me out so much that I am moving out earlier than I had planned.
A girl in school looking at friends gossiping

Gossip From Other Parents Is Affecting My Daughter and Her Friends

My ten-year-old daughter hangs out with a group of girls whose parents I actually don’t care for. I think we just have different values in our family. With this parent group, there is a lot of gossiping, worrying about what others think or getting into their business, or talking down about other families. I am hearing the girls have the same kind of conversations and it is starting to worry me. What do I do as a parent? These are her friends.
Depressed Teenage Boy

My Teen Is Dreading School and Gets Extremely Anxious in the Mornings

My teen is dreading school coming up and in the past gets extremely anxious in the morning. I don’t think he wants to go to school. I’ve tried to ask him what is wrong, and he says nothing, but I know something is wrong. He used to like going to school. How do I get to the bottom of this?
Young male adult who is depressed

My Stepson Suffers From Depression

My 23-year-old stepson suffers from depression and is considered obese according to doctors. He showers every 5 - 7 days and sometimes he won’t shower for 3 weeks. He is also not working. My husband refuses to lay down adult rules and I feel stuck without his back-up. This young man needs help, yet he refuses to see a psychiatrist or a counselor. Please advise.
Young boy having nightmares

How Can I Prevent My Child From Having Nightmares?

My 6-year-old son has a lot of nightmares and sometimes I wonder if he is having night terrors. Is there something that I can do to stop these from occurring?
Grandmother with grandchild

I Feel It Is My Responsibility To Correct My Son, Not My Mother's

My mother tends to correct my son. It is not that I disagree with her, in fact, I usually don’t, but I am standing right there. I feel like it is my role to do the correcting, not hers. How do I tell her to back off or do I just roll with it since I agree?
Worried Women

My Best Friend and Ex-Partner Recently Died by Suicide

My best friend and ex-partner recently died by suicide. He had reached out to me a month before, but I was annoyed and busy and barely responded. He said he missed me, and I didn't say it back even though I missed him, too. I feel I contributed to his pain and loneliness. How do I not feel so terrible and like I am to blame for his decision to take his life?
Supporting Family Hands

One of Our Four Children Recently Went to a Treatment Facility

We are looking for help to address the trauma our family has gone through. We have four special needs kids and one recently went to a treatment facility. While she is in a place to heal, we want to find help for the rest of the family. In-home help would be best for our kids as they are all autistic and fetal alcohol syndrome, plus learning disabilities. We live in Missouri. Please help.
Man looking out window

As Things Return to Normal, I Find Myself Feeling Guarded and Hesitant

Things are returning to more of a normal state but I still find myself feeling on guard or hesitant to stand too close, hug a friend, and I noticed I’m not always on the same page on these feelings as my family and friends. How do I start feeling more comfortable?