Beyondblue is encouraging Australians to look after their mental health this Valentine's Day.
The organisation's Lead Clinical Adviser Dr Grant Blashki says dating might cause extra stress for some in the social media age.
“Although Valentine’s Day is a romantic day for many couples, as a GP I have noticed such days can add fuel to the fire for people who are having trouble with relationships,” Dr Blashki said.
“Some people who have mental health issues find that online dating really sets off their social anxieties, feelings of inadequacy and fear of rejection.”
He says the tone of social media and dating sites can cause issues for some patients:
“Some people experiencing anxiety conditions avoid social situations or even dates because they find the experience brings on their anxiety,” Dr Blashki said. “This can sometimes lead to social isolation which can further compromise a person’s mental health.
“Social media often presents an idealised version of people’s lives and relationships which can add fuel to the fire for people who have few social connections.”
He said it could be useful to balance time spent socialising online with time spent socialising offline.