These are sometimes referred to as psychomotor or temporal lobe seizures affect awareness. A complex partial seizure makes a person appear to be in a trance and go through a series of movements over which they have no control. The kinds of movements will vary from individual to individual there may be a distinctive pattern of actions that each person follows every time a seizure happens.
A seizure of this type may start with a warning, called an aura which is actually the simple partial seizure that precedes impairment of consciousness: a strange sensation, a feeling of fear perhaps, or a sudden sick feeling in the stomach, or even seeing or hearing something that is not really there. The person stares blankly, and may make chewing movements with the mouth. He or she may move an arm, pull at clothing, get up and walk around, all the time looking dazed and out of touch with the environment. Although not completely aware of things and people around them a person having this kind of seizure may follow simple direction if they are given in a calm, friendly voice.
Sometimes these complex partial seizures produce more dramatic changes in behavior, including screaming, crying , moaning, laughing, disrobing,running, or apparent fear. Although most of these seizures last for only a minute or two, full awareness may not return for some time afterwards. Confusion and irritability may follow and the person will not remember what happened or what they did while the seizure was happening. Both simple or complex partial seizures may affect enough brain cells to spread and become a Generalized Tonic Clonic (Grand Mal) seizure. Doctors describe these as partial seizures secondarily generalized.