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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.


Nervous woman

How Can I Move On From My Abusive Ex and Not Be Scared Anymore?

I just left my boyfriend after 5 years because he was being physically abusive. I have a restraining order in place, but I am scared because I know we still live in the same city and I fear I might run into him or he may still try to hurt me. I find myself just wanting to stay in my apartment and hardly go anywhere. How can I move on and not be so scared?
A child who struggles with social anxiety

How Can I Best Support My Child Who Struggles With Social Anxiety?

My eight-year-old child has had a rocky start to the school year. She struggles with social anxiety and it seems to be getting worse. She just lacks confidence, is concerned that others will make fun of her and I can tell she dreads going into school in the morning.
Mother disciplining child

Is Spanking Children an Effective Consequence?

I would like information about how to discipline my children. I was spanked as a child and I have mixed feelings about it. I find that I am starting to spank my children and while it sometimes stops their behavior, they just do the same bad thing next time. My friends tell me that spanking doesn’t work, and they don’t think I should be doing it. My parents think it is important to be strict so that my children learn the right behavior. Is it okay to spank your child?
A women staring out the window watching the rain

How Do I Navigate Seasonal Depression?

Every year I dread the start of fall. With the sun not being out as long I start to feel unmotivated, sleepy, and sluggish.  I know I suffer from seasonal depression, but I’ve tried a few of the usual things like the light lamps but what else can I do?
Hopeless Mother

What Kind of Treatment Do You Recommend for Someone Who Has Depression, Panic, and Anxiety Issues?

My daughter is a 35-year-old, college graduate. She is very smart and intelligent. During her undergrad, she suffered from depression and it continues today. She has been treated by many psychiatrists doctors. First, she was diagnosed only with depression, then she was diagnosed with major depression, panic, and anxiety issues. Please advise me where to go from here? Is any treatment can help her? I am desperate to find some treatment for her.
Mother talking with daughter

How Do I Help My Teenage Daughter and Her Friends Have Guided Conversations About Suicide?

I overheard my teenage daughter and her friends talking about their favorite show and how one of the characters committed suicide. I was a little nervous overhearing this conversation and I want to help them have guided conversations around suicide, but I don't know where to start. How can teens talk about suicide with each other?
Daughter talking to Mother

How Do I Manage My Relationship With My Mother During COVID?

I work as an ICU RN and for the past year or so I’ve been in the COVID ICU. It is like a war zone, where I watch people die every single day. The amount of stress has taken a toll on my health. Things were getting better for a while, but now as the COVID numbers increase again it means managing more cases and experiencing more death. My mom lives with me and has been living with me for about 5 years. We had a great relationship, but this last year her best friend submerged her into conspiracies theories. My mom doesn’t believe COVID is real, doesn’t wear a mask, and thinks vaccines are a way to control us. What can I do?
Father having a serious conversation with his son

How Do I Best Support My Child Who Is Grieving Their Friend Who Died by Suicide?

My teenage son's friend committed suicide and my son is having a really hard time. We haven’t talked together about suicide in the past, and I am not sure what approach to take to have these difficult conversations. How do I start the conversation and how do I best support him at this time?
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.