What should I do?

My best friend since the age of 13 has just confided in me two days ago that she has been bulimic for 17 yrs. She was so ashamed and embarrassed when she told me and all i could do was be compassionate. She just moved back home about a year ago after living in San Francisco for the last 10 years. She also has a new boyfriend that she moved in with. In the last 3 months I have seen a change in here. She has been a little withdrawn and extremely sensitive about comments that normally wouldn't bother her She has anxiety often and it has been really bad lately. We got into an argument and didn't speak for 3 weeks. I ended up having emergency surgery which forced us to talk. Then within that conversation she really just broke down. I kept telling her I know something is wrong, you just need to get it out. I promised her she would feel better as soon as she said it aloud. After a long stall ,(I'm sure she battled it in her head if she should say anything), she said through her tears, "I've been bulimic since I was 15". In my heart I went straight from instant shock to complete compassion. I know very well about hiding your feelings as I battle depression so I just wanted her to feel safe and not ashamed. She filled me in on a bit of it but not all, I think she didn't want to reveal too much. Now researching this disease I am seeing she has many of the classic signs of bulimia. I feel like a bad friend for not noticing but she says she can hide it VERY well. She even lived with a man for 5 years and he didn't know. I need to know how to handle this effectively and in a way she does not withdrawal or feel more embarrassed. What do I do first? Thank you all, I appreciate it.

Wow, what a great support group. NOT ONE OF YOU can give me advice in helping my best friend out. I am now tormented with this secret alone. I wish you all on this site good luck but obviously this site is useless to me.

wow jfunk---give us some time, here!!! sometimes we cant answer right right away....

it isnt that we dont care---we just need time to help
everyone on here--doesnt make you any less important...

for your freind well, id tell her to get some therapy right right away or a treatment center or support group...and try to be as patient, and caring as possible which is hard, knowing she is hurting herself. try to listen to her-but first of all--get her needed help! try calling therapists in her area..

love
maureen