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He has a need to do it is frequently offered as a full and pat explanation for a particular action or trait of an individual which, of course, explains nothing. It is perhaps so much easier to use cliches and strike a posture of dubious profundity instead of thinking it through or using the healing phrase, "I don't know." It is like explaining the act of a murderer with "he had a need to do it." Similarly the phrase acting out is also used as an explanation for a trait, an activity or a self-defeating act or similar self-sabotage, or even for diseases such as alcoholism. In these the patient is said to be acting out his hostilities or maladjustments or to be making a social protest to express his contempt for his society or his world, or to be making a good attempt to destroy himself with alcohol. Though
Di Cyan E. Acting Out-Theoretical & Clinical Aspects.. Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(5):725-727. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870110117025