Thirty-eight panic disorder and 48 generalised anxiety disorder subjects were asked to complete a number of questionnaires aimed at developing a general clinical picture of the two disorders. The results indicated that panic disorder is characterised by a sudden onset around the mid- to late-20s age group and is distinguished by symptoms which are chiefly hyperventilatory in nature and are accompanied by thoughts of serious physical or mental illness. Generalised anxiety disorder is characterised by a gradual onset of symptoms. Somatic symptoms associated with this disorder are generally accompanied by a realisation that the symptoms are the result of anxiety and are harmless. The two groups did not appear to differ greatly on a number of other scales except that the generalised anxiety disorder subjects scored higher on measures of manifest anxiety and social phobia.