Barton was banned for 12 matches by the Football Association following his red card and subsequent violent conduct in Queens Park Rangers' dramatic defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
He has since been loaned out to Marseille and is looking to get his career back on track during his stint in France.
"I completely let myself down but it's not a rational situation. I knew we could be relegated, they could win the league and I'm captain," he told GQ Style.
"There's a bit of a media spotlight on me so if we go down, I'm going to take a lot of s***. I was already getting it on Twitter so pressure started building and I didn't handle it well.
"My inner chimp doesn't work well with injustice, it reacts too quickly. Tevez has done what he's done, I have reacted and the aftermath is..."
Barton recognises there is no justification for what he did but says the incident has focused his mind to try and improve as a person.
He explained: "I look at it now and it's almost like it's not me. I'm like 'What the **** were you thinking?'
"At the time in some weird way I thought it was the correct way but, looking at it now, I know it wasn't.
"I've got to learn a lesson from that. The thing it reiterated to me was just how far I am from the person I want to be."