This article is from the Shamanism FAQ, by Dean Edwards email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
A common experience of the call to shamanism is a psychic or spiritual
crisis, which often accompanies a physical or even a medical crisis, and
is cured by the shaman him or herself. This is a common occurrence for
all three types of shamanic candidates described above. The shaman is
often marked by eccentric behavior such as periods of melancholy,
solitude, visions, singing in his or her sleep, etc. The inability of the
traditional remedies to cure the condition of the shamanic candidate and
the eventual self cure by the new shaman is a significant episode in
development of the shaman. The underlying significant aspect of this
experience, when it is present, is the ability of the shaman to manage
and resolve periods of distress.