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19-year-old college student commits suicide after shooting first porn scene

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STILLWATER, MN, May 23, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A 19-year-old college student committed suicide just two weeks after making her first pornographic video.

Alyssa Funke, who starred in her first porn film earlier this year for a website called CastingCouch-X, used a shotgun to kill herself on April 16.

The teen, who adopted the stage name “Stella Ann,” was a straight-A student at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. She told the pornographers, "I want to be a major in biology, minor in chemistry, and I want to be an anesthesiologist.”

It is widely thought she killed herself after former classmates at her high school in Stillwater, Minnesota, taunted her through Twitter and Facebook. Police say their investigation, which is still ongoing, has not yet found any criminal harassment.

Funke's parents say that she suffered from periodic depression. Local media report that the young lady's father has a record for swindling and theft, and her mother dealt drugs with a boyfriend. Funke's mother also neglected the family's younger siblings. Eventually, Funke moved in with her grandmother as a young teenager, though she still struggled with money.

Former pornstars told LifeSiteNews that troubled childhoods and deep depression – before or after a shoot – is not out of the ordinary in that industry.

Madyson Marquette, whose porn film name was Fayth Deluca, told LifeSiteNews that "after shooting porn, it seemed as if all the girls were depressed, including myself. We would shoot a scene and immediately after we would go do something to where we wouldn't have to think about what we had just done, whether that was getting so drunk we just blacked out, some type of drug like Xanax, cocaine, or ecstasy."

"The drugs contained our depression,” she said. “It took us to a fantasy world because the reality we were living was a nightmare.” Ironically, she said, their nightmare is what so many men "use as their fantasy."

To this day, Marquette says she "struggle[s] with depression, years after being out of porn."

"Women were not created to separate their emotions and sex, so if you are doing porn as a woman or a young girl, depression will creep in quick and fast," she said.

Brittni Ruiz told LifeSiteNews she had the same story. “After I shot porn I experienced severe depression for a couple of months," she said. "Once the love of Jesus hit me, I was able to discard all of my drugs and antidepressants that were supposed to make me 'happy,' but never really did."

Michelle Truax, who works with the anti-pornography non-profit XXXChurch, told LifeSiteNews that "while I don't have any official stats, I can tell you that almost all – if not all – of the women who have been mentored through our ministry have suffered with bouts of depression."

"It goes so much deeper than just the obvious," she said. "We have found that all of the women we have mentored have had issues in their past that caused them to seek out this type of work in the first place. Some will tell you that it started with stripping and the high they got from the attention was incredible for them, because they had never received that kind of attention before."

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According to Truax, however, "then it escalates into other things." She says that "ultimately it is a false high, a big letdown, because the attention is superficial." Deep, healthy relationships based on love are not found, "so it further tears at the core issues that were already under the surface before."

Craig Gross, who founded XXXChurch, says that his organization has "a mentor program in place for women that does not discriminate. In other words whether you are in the industry, or out of the industry, or somewhere in between, we have a network of women to mentor and walk with these gals."

Gross said partnerships are important, as well, to help women. "If a woman enters into our mentor program and she is in need of or seeking help beyond what we feel comfortable that we're qualified to give, we will see to it that they receive counseling from a licensed professional," he said.

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