Like typical stressors that produce posttraumatic stress disorder
(PTSD), panic attacks are sudden, unpredictable, and often perceived as
life-threatening. Structured interviews with 30 subjects with panic
disorder revealed that five (17%) and two (7%) met lifetime and current
DSM-III-R PTSD criteria, respectively, following their most terrifying
panic attack. PTSD produced by panic is less severe than PTSD produced by
either rape or combat.