Veronika Decides to Die is a novel written by Paolo Coelho, that tells the story of a 24 year old Veronika, who doesn''t really seem to be missing a lot in her life but despite it she decides to commit suicide. This novel is partially based on Coelho''s experience in numerous mental institutions, is evolves around the topic of insanity.
Veronika lives in Slovenia and decides to commit suicide by taking too many sleeping pills. While waiting for her death, she reads a magazine where an article figured entitled "Where is Slovenia". She decides to write a letter to the press, justifying her death letting the press believe she killed herself because people do not know where Slovenia is located. However she never succeeded as she woke up to find herself in Villete, a mental institution in Slovenia, and was told she had a week to live.
Her presence there affects all the patience especially a woman named Zedcka suffering from a clinical depression, Mari suffering from panic attacks and Eduard, a schizophrenic with whom she falls in love. He was the only one in front of whom she played the Piano and masturbated, thinking he would never really understand all that. However it made him fall in love with her as well. She allowed herself to do all that because she thought she had nothing to lose and could afford doing everything she wanted without worrying about people, since she was a "mad" woman. Thus she experienced many things she never felt, such as love, hatred and sexual awakening.
Dr. Igor, another character that often appears, has a theory about the "Vitriol", which is the poison of the mind. By telling Veronika she had a week to live, he would be experimenting the cure to that Vitriol, since eventually people would want to live further once told they are to die soon, and wouldn''t want to commit suicide again. Thus Veronika escapes with Eduard, who escaped his reality in the first place because he wasn''t allowed to do what he loved the most (painting), and lived each day as a miracle thinking Veronika would die the second day.