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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.


Daughter helping fathers wife with death arrangement

My Dad Unexpectedly Passed Away and No One Is Taking Charge of His Arrangements

My dad unexpectedly died. He left behind myself and my brother as well as his wife and an ex-wife, who is my stepmother. Everybody, including myself, is having such a hard time and nobody is taking charge of arrangements of his death. My brother is leaning on me for support, and my stepmother has strong opinions about just leaving everything up to my dad’s wife. The problem is that his wife is not used to taking charge and there are some key decisions that really need to get made. She has spent her whole marriage doing everything that my dad told her to do. Right or wrong, it’s what worked for them and now she does not have his support to rely on. I have been trying to stay back to be sensitive to what she is going through, and I don’t want to pressure her to deal with things that she cannot handle. Any advice on how to navigate this situation?
Women with poor hygiene

My Adult Child Does Not Take Care of Her Hygiene

We have a daughter that is 23 years old that has returned to live with us. We cared for her when she was a young teen as a foster child, but we have always considered her to be our own daughter. She had a long history of abuse and neglect as a child and as a result has had a difficult time. She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression, but she seems to do better when she lives with us because we provide a consistent environment. We love and care about her very much and we will always be there for her. The concern we have is that she does not take very good care of her hygiene and does not keep herself clean. When she was younger, we were able to manage this, but now that she is an adult, we cannot parent her the same way. Even though we try to encourage her to keep herself clean, she does not seem to understand how bad it is and how it affects those around her. How should we handle this situation?
Two annoyed sisters

I Moved to Take Care of My Sisters and They Seem Ungrateful

I moved to take care of my sisters and now I am finding out that they are lying to me about everything. They cost me every penny I make, then they lie to me and yell at me to stay out of their business. I’m about to lose my mind.
A Mother Who Is Worn Out

My Family Is Struggling

My family has been struggling as my husband lost his job due to COVID, my daughter has been acting out, and I feel like I am going to lose it. We have never been to family therapy, but do you think it would help?
Mom and Son

My Parents Aren't Taking COVID Seriously

I currently live with my parents who haven't been taking the COVID-19 virus too seriously this past year and it has caused me lots of stress and worry. Now that they have been vaccinated, I’m afraid they are going to take it even less seriously. Over the past year, I have talked to them about my concerns and shared pertinent information with them regarding the virus but to no avail. I’m feeling very stressed and anxious for my own safety. Thank you. PS. I have generalized and social anxiety.
New Baby

We Have a New Baby on the Way and Don’t Know How To Prepare Our Daughter

I am pregnant, and the baby is due in June. We have a 3-year-old that is the center of our family’s universe and gets lots of attention. To put it frankly, she is quite spoiled with love and devotion by all, including her grandparents, aunts and uncles. I am worried the arrival of a new baby will affect her and wondering what I should do to prepare? We have not told her yet that the baby is coming. We are not trying to hide it from her, we just don’t think she will understand what it means.
Teenager on laptop

I Am Worried that My Son Spends Too Much Time Online

I am looking for advice on how to handle my 15-year-old son who is on his phone or computer all the time. He is a good student, he has friends, and he is a great kid that doesn’t get into trouble, so I’m not worried about any one thing in particular. From what I see and what he says, he is online with his friends playing games and watching YouTube videos. It just seems like he should not be on his computer as much as he is, am I right?
Women looking at phone

My Brother Went Two Years without Talking to Me

My older brother, who is 54, has a long history of mental health problems. This has led to a lot of family conflict over the years. He will come in and out of our lives and will accuse family members of things that make no sense. Issues don’t really get resolved because whenever we try to discuss the problems, everybody gets emotional and it seems like it makes things worse. My brother recently reached out to me after not speaking to me for two years and I don’t know if I should respond to him like nothing ever happened, ignore him, or confront him about his past behavior. We are beyond working out old history.
Depressed Man

My Partner Is Depressed

My husband and I have been married for 30 years and have raised 3 children. In fact, our youngest son just moved out this past year. We have lived a wonderful life and feel blessed. Throughout the years, my husband would go through times where he seemed depressed and was down and out, but this would only last about week or so and then he would snap out of it. Now he just seems depressed all of the time. He has a hard time getting out of bed, he is not motivated, and it seems like nothing makes him happy. This has been going on now for more than 8 months. I don’t know what to do to help and I am a bit at my wits end. Help!!
Picture of Grandma and Grandson

My Grandmother Passed Away from COVID

My grandmother died two months ago from COVID. She was 78 years old and diabetic. Whenever people learn that she died from COVID, they ask me if she had other medical problems. The fact is, had she not caught COVID, she would still be alive today. I was very close to my grandmother and am having a very difficult time coming to terms with her death. I feel so much anger when people ask me if she had other health problems, I just want to scream at them. It feels like they are not taking her death seriously, like it was her fault that she died of COVID because she had diabetes. How can I respond to people so that they understand, because not only am I getting angry, I am finding myself becoming more and more isolated?