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In , writer Daniel Smith's New York Times best-selling book, recently released in paperback, he tells about how, on a romantic trip to Italy with the love of his life, he ended up telling her "I don't think I…love you anymore" after having subjected her to months of "sullen, neglectful, and blatantly discontented" behavior as his anxiety—secretly—spiraled out of control.

"In love an anxious person becomes a persecutor as well as a masochist," he writes.

In Betty Friedan's time, we were having our nineteenth nervous breakdown and gulping down mother's little helpers to fend off the claustrophobia of limited choices.

"She said, 'If I'd known all that, I would've felt so much differently about it at the time.' "Birbiglia's critics aren't wrong—he was an ass."It's done more now than in the Greatest Generation," but it's still an area in which men are flying somewhat blind.Maybe He's Not a Jerk, He's Just Anxious Many of the men who blurbed Stossel's book remarked on his "bravery" in revealing his anxiety, a sentiment that seems mildly ridiculous—he's not admitting to cannibalism, after all, but to a disorder more common than heart disease—until you read about the depth of Stossel's shame.Being anxious isn't a Twinkie Defense against malfeasance.But acknowledging it removes some of the darkness—or at least makes the behavior darkly funny.