Complex Partial Seizures involve impairment of consciousness and often arise from the temporal lobe. The seizure begins in a localized area of the brain but may progress rapidly to involve both hemispheres. These also may be referred to as temporal lobe seizure or psychomotor seizures.
Complex Partial Seizures are associated with strange behavior in which the person may not be aware of what they are doing . There are often repetitive movements like rubbing ones hands or lip smacking that have no purpose. These repetitive behaviors are called “automatisms”.
The seizure may involve sleepwalking, chewing, wandering, staring blankly, confusion, funny speech or mumbling, fumbling of the hands or running wildly. Complex partial seizures are often mistaken for behavioral disorders such as mental illness or a drug induced state. The “episode” usually lasts for a few minutes but can continue for hours or days.
They person may hear you but not fully understand what you are saying or be able to respond to you. If you speak loudly to them, they may think that you are being aggressive and so they may react aggressively towards you.
After a complex partial seizure, the person may be confused for a while, sometimes called ‘post-ictal’ (after seizure) confusion. The person might be tired and want to rest. They may not remember the seizure afterwards.