Complex Partial Seizures (Temporal Lobe Epilepsy)

Complex partial seizures or TLE, which is also known as psychomotor epilepsy, represent a series of behavioral and psychiatric symptoms that can vary widely and mimic almost any psychiatric disorder. Symptoms include sudden onset of automatic movement of the lips, altered level of consciousness, forced thinking, hypergraphia (excessive writing), hypersexuality, and hyperreligiosity. Certain patients present with episodes of uncontrollable rage and violence that are usually aimless and not directed at specific people or things, and is followed by amnesia of the episode. More elaborate clinical presentations may involve psychotic symptomatology, including various forms of olfactory, gustatory, visual, and auditory hallucinations. Other psychiatric symptoms include depression and profound mood changes with fear and anxiety. Illusions, flashbacks, and déjà vu phenomena often occur. Some patients enter fugue states and wander for hours or days, appearing perplexed, disoriented, and incoherent.