Perfect Flaws is a non-fiction work by Tim Segrest that talks about his experience with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Timothy George Segrest is a military veteran. He joined the military in 1983 as a jet engine mechanic with the Air Force. Segrest later transferred to the Army and trained as a sniper. Things were looking good but in 2004, Segrest was medically boarded out due to an issue with his back. He was later diagnosed with acute post-traumatic stress disorder and degenerative spine disease. These developments made him depressed and it even came to a point where Tim considered taking his own life. For some reason, Segrest started writing poetry and found solace in them. He then began writing more often and even wrote short stories and novels as he progressed in his writing career. One of his books is a poetry book published in 2006, roughly two years after he lost his opportunity to be a sniper in the United States Army. Let us take a closer look at Perfect Flaws by Time Segrest.

PTSD and the Military

Before we go to Tim Segrest’s book, let us first know the definition of post-traumatic stress disorder and its connection to military service. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is defined as a psychiatric disorder affecting people who have experienced or encountered a traumatic event such as a tragedy, a calamity, an act of terror attack, a devastating accident, war, bombing, fire, rape, and other forms of assault experienced or witnessed.

According to

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the military are commonly linked. PTSD can be considered a “young” diagnosis. It was not until 1980 that the diagnosis of PTSD as we know it today came to be. However, throughout history, people have recognized that exposure to combat situations can have a profound negative impact on the minds and bodies of those involved in these situations. In fact, the diagnosis of PTSD originates from observations of the effect of combat on soldiers. The grouping of symptoms that we now refer to as PTSD has previously been described in the past as “combat fatigue,” “shell shock,” or “war neurosis.” Furthermore, PTSD can also be acquired by anyone who has not seen combat or armed conflict depending on the stress factors.

Perfect Flaws by Tim Segrest 

Tim Segrest’s Perfect Flaws is a collection of poems he wrote shortly after he was medically boarded out of the US Army due to his back problems in 2004. Perfect Flaws was published in 2006 and his first of many books detailing his bout with PTSD. Segrest shares his journey while in the military, the challenges he faced, and his personal battles following his depression and spine problem. Although most of the poems featured are related to his time in the military, some works are personal.

“I have dove deeper into this book to explore topics outside the combat zone. Topics assigned to me in college classes, as well as everyday life. I did this because we are not in combat anymore. Everyday problems blend into our past world, an avoidable part of living in society. But, through the same self-healing methodology, I feel you can tackle them as well. But then again, like I already said, you must want to.” –excerpt from Perfect Flaws (book description)

While Perfect Flaws serves as Tim Segrest’s outlet for his depression and PTSD, Tim imparts to his readers his poetry outside the themes of war and combat and common adversities that we encounter in our society. Although largely personal, the book enables us to get a glimpse of how people diagnosed with PTSD deal with their lives, as well as the mindset of military personnel outside the combat paradigm. For me, these kinds of literary materials demonstrate a different side of their persona. 

Although Tim Segrest’s career in the military was cut short, his talent for writing and the books he has published certainly is a great inspiration to the men and women in the service. Segrest’s books reach out to others, helping them cope up with not only post-traumatic stress disorder, but also other challenges that come with being a part of the armed forces. Overall, Perfect Flaws is a book that every person suffering from PTSD or depression should read at least once.

Other works by Timothy George Segrest

  • Fatigue and the PTSD Mind
  • Trained in Hell, Living in Heaven
  • Whistling in Chicago: The Birth
  • Whistling in Chicago: Creation
  • Nightmares of War, Enduring PTSD
  • Random Echoes of the PTSD Mind
  • Snakes Short Stories
  • Snake Riddles Poetry Enduring PTSD, Vol 1-11

About Timothy George Segrest 

Timothy George Segrest was born in Whittier, California in 1962. In 1980, Segrest finished high school at La Miranda high School. He worked in drafting pipe layout and design for a few years before joining the army. Segrest currently lives in Yuma, Arizona with his wife.