One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘he went to pieces when his wife died’
have a breakdown, have a mental breakdown, have a nervous breakdown, break down, go out of one's mind, crack, snap, lose control, lose one's head, fall apart
informal crack up, come apart at the seams, fall apart at the seams, disintegrate, freak, freak out, get in a stew
British informal go into a spin, go into a flat spin
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