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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.

 

Picture of a woman holding a wine glass contemplating taking a drink of wine.

Is It OK to Resume Drinking if You Have a History of Alcohol Abuse?

My wife has consumed alcohol throughout her adult life without having any problems. Three years ago we went through some life changes and became really depressed. Her drinking began to increase to the point that she ended up having significant liver damage. Since that event, she stopped drinking entirely. We would like to enjoy a nice drink on special occasions. We both don’t believe that she is an alcoholic, so we don’t think there would be any harm in her having an occasional drink. Would be safe for her to resume given that she has not had a single drink in the last three years?
Photo of a man repairing a door

How Do I Create Boundaries With My Ex-Wife?

My ex and I have been divorced for several years now and it's amicable, but I'm frustrated -- she still turns to me for help with things around the house all the time. I want to do what's right for my kids and I like helping but I'm starting to feel taken advantage of. How do I say no without rocking the boat?
teenage girl sitting crouched holding her knees with a sad look on her face

My Daughter Has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). How Can I Best Support Her?

My daughter is a twenty-two-year-old bio engineering student. She is a hardworking girl, but she takes care of her hygiene poorly and her room is not walkable. Everything is on the floor. She gets mad when I talk to her about hygiene. A little background, my daughter has PCOS. I have spent a lot of money on laser hair removal, with not great results. When she was younger, she was bullied because of her condition and would come home crying. She does not want to go to a therapist. I’m not sure how to help her or what to do for her. 
a woman talking in a therapy session

Do I Need Therapy?

I've had a lot of change and tragedy in my life recently. I'm not perfect but I think I'm handling it ok. But others in my life are encouraging me to get professional help. How do I know if they are right or if I really do need therapy?
Photo of a sad young adult female, holding her head in her hands

My Friend Died by Suicide. Is There Any Way I Could Get Through This Pain?

My friend committed suicide a week ago and I can’t stop blaming myself. Three weeks ago, he told me he wanted to commit suicide, but he was too scared. I did not think he would do it. He also wrote to me saying if we would meet, he might not want to kill himself. I keep reading those messages. I can’t get it out of my head. I am someone who suffers from depression and have been suicidal as well. I can’t do this anymore. Is there any way I could get through this pain? Are there any other realities other than depression? I’ve lost all hope.
An Unkempt Neighbor's yard with tall, dying grass

My Neighbor Doesn't Upkeep His Yard. What Can I Do?

My neighbor doesn't keep up his yard. In the winter, he never shovels the sidewalk and in the summer, it's the grass. I know it's not my business but it bothers me. Can I say something? How can I get over this when I have to look at it every day?
Photo of a young blond haired boy sitting on a couch angry

My Niece's Toddler Is Aggressive. How Can We Help Him?

My niece’s 4-year-old toddler has become so aggressive that daycare has put him on probation. It breaks my heart when she calls me crying, thinking that she is not doing enough. He is the only child of two military parents, and they have tried to work with him. She has requested an appointment for behavioral health, but the wait is too long. What can she do in the meantime?
Two Black females in their twenties. One is upset and the other is comforting

How Can You Best Support a Grieving Friend?

In this week's Dear Dr. Michelle, we switch things up! Last fall, Jaelyn Arndt's father unexpectedly passed away. Dr. Michelle K. Murray asks Jaelyn how friends and family can best support a loved one who is grieving a loss.
Photo of a trans teenage female

How Can I Best Support My Teen in Their Gender Expression?

My 15-year-old son recently told me he wants to be referred to as they/them. He has started experimenting with makeup and is interested in women's clothing. I'm having a really hard time with this one. I am uncomfortable, I don't understand and don't know how to handle it. I want to support him, but I worry about him being bullied and what struggles he will face. Where do I even begin?
Meeting of coworkers discussing a topic

How Do I Stay Private While Connecting With My Coworkers?

I work with a bunch of people who are very open. They talk about their personal lives and share quite a bit with the rest of the group. I’m very private and I try to keep my personal life and work life separate. As a result, I think they are feeling like I am cold and not interested. How do I handle this? I still value these relationships.