Thanks to everyone who responded. :)
I think this IS a disability, at least it's totally screwing with my wife's ADL's and she feels disabled.
She says sometimes it feels like fear, but I guess that's what panic attacks are - fight or flight kicks in, and that's a fear response. She went through hell in nursing school, and I'm wondering now if that's why she's having panic attacks at work. She went through nursing school years ago and had above satisfactory evaluations and grades, but was hounded and harassed by instructors. I wonder about PTSD, but I'm no psych guy so I don't know.
Anyways, I'm just worried and rambling now. Thanks for the encouragement everyone.