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For usage like this:

I freaked out when I saw that file was not there.

Every time I talk to him, he freaks me out by his strange stories.

What similar expressions can I use instead of 'freak out'?

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Losing it ?! As in, "he lost it when he saw that file wasn't there". –  Mohit Jan 18 '13 at 8:36
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6 Answers 6

I think this question is too vague for a pinpoint answer.

In other words, why did you freak out when that file was missing? Did you lose a lot of work? (Was it anger?) Were you going to miss an important deadline? (Was it frustration?) Did you think someone had stolen sensitive information? (Was it fear?)

A person can “freak out” because of excitement:

Paco freaked out when Mexico won in overtime.

fear:

During the movie, I freaked out when that ghost reached out and grabbed her.

anger:

I freaked out when that guy scratched my car!

frustration:

Dave freaked out when he realized he left that report at home on his desk.

grief:

She freaked out when she saw her nephew's name among the list of victims.

or unnerving aversion:

I was freaked out by the way my brother-in-law was staring at me.

Once you can identify the emotion that's causing the reaction, that can open up several options, some of them idiomatic, to describe the excitement:

Paco went nuts when Mexico won in overtime.

fear:

During the movie, I jumped out of my seat when that ghost reached out and grabbed her.

anger:

I was pissed when that guy scratched my car!

frustration:

Dave was kicking himself when he realized he left that report at home on his desk.

grief:

She beat her chest when she saw her nephew's name among the list of victims.

or unnerving aversion:

I got the chills by the way my brother-in-law was staring at me.

Of these, I think that went nuts (or went crazy) are perhaps the most flexible. Much like freaked out, those can be used in a wide array of contexts. However, I've only scratched the surface here, and I'd expect we could come up with several other candidates worthy of consideration.

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You can say “It really knocked me for six when I saw that file was not there” (1) or “I was totally devastated when I saw that file was not there”. One sense of devastated is “Extremely upset and shocked”. For that matter, you could say “I was shocked, shocked! when I saw that file was not there”.

Lost it was mentioned in a comment. Idiomatic almost lost it, bent out of shape, fall to pieces, and go to pieces can be used as in the following examples, which thefreedictionary.com attributes to McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs.

I was so mad, I almost lost it.
When he saw the dent in his fender, he almost lost it.
I got bent out of shape because of the way I was treated.
I was so nervous, I fell to pieces and couldn't give my speech.
Roger fell to pieces when his mother died.
Poor Jane went to pieces after her divorce.
Fred went to pieces during the trial.

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I think the word "perturb" fits the bill in this case, both in a passive and active sense.

I was perturbed when I saw the file was missing.

His strange stories perturbed me.

There are also many other words and phrases you could use but not necessarily in both situations - e.g. make my skin crawl would apply to the strange stories, but not perhaps a missing file.

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You could say, you got the shit scared out of you.

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I think gross out fits well in the scenario.

I was Grossed out when I saw the file was missing.

His strange stories grossed out me.

Or you could also use cark in both the cases.

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I think "screwed" will fit well. E.g. I got screwed when I saw the file was missing.

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