This article is super cool. This theme of spiritual purge has been present in human culture since the beginning with rituals specifically designed to induce the purge; Ayahuasca as a good example.

Another way that this purge is represented is in movies, and cartoons when the character goes through a life-changing experience, they usually get high fever and have to be unavailable for some time. Often, followed by a dream or trip sequence triggered by the fever.

This happened to the character Zuko in the Last Air Bender, and with Howl from Ghibli's Howl's Moving Castle.

Great article.